Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday was convicted of contempt of court by the Supreme Court for refusing to write to the Swiss authorities to reopen a corruption case and was sentenced until the rising of the court.

A seven-judge bench of the court, headed by Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, announced the verdict in the contempt of court case.

“For reasons to be recorded later, the prime minister is found guilty of contempt for wilfully flouting the direction of the Supreme Court,” said Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk.

PM escaped jail term, but was punished till the conclusion of the court proceedings for violating Article 63(1) (g) of the Constitution.

The sentencing lasted for 30 seconds. The prime minister remained standing for 30 seconds after the announcement of judgment.

A visibly dejected prime minister, accompanied by his sons, after hearing the verdict shook hands with his team and members of the federal cabinet.

After leaving the apex court, PM Gilani briefly talking to media said that the verdict was inappropriate but he was prepared for this conviction. He said that the decision to appeal his conviction would be filed after consultations with his legal aides.

He said that even after conviction he is still the PM and the course of democracy would not be sabotaged. He said that he respects courts and whenever he was summoned by the court he appeared. He said that he had come for justice and he is hopeful that now all legal obligations would be completed.

Gilani smiled and waved to his supporters as he stepped out of the court premises.

Meanwhile Federal minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said that a petition would be filed in the court for a review of the verdict.

“The country cannot afford any adventurism. PPP has always been victimised”, she said.

She moreover said that further course of action would be decided once the detailed verdict is received.

Gilani appeared in person in the SC for the third time to hear the verdict in the contempt of court case.

Gohar Khan, assistant to Aitzaz Ahsan, and a member of the prime minister’s legal team also said that a review petition would be filed.

Politicians, lawyers and journalists (local and international) were also present in the court for the hearing.

Government officials and dignitaries present at the court included Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Masood Kausar, Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar, Presidential Spokesperson  Farhatullah Babar, political secretary to the party co-chairman Rukhsana Bangash and Attorney General Irfan Qadir.

Text of the SC verdict

Following is the text of the Supreme Court judgment in the contempt of court case against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

For the reasons to be recorded later, the accused Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Prime Minister of Pakistan/Chief Executive of the federation, is found guilty of and convicted for contempt of court, under Article 204 (2) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, read with Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance (Ordinance 5 of 2003) for wilful flouting, disregard and disobedience of this court’s direction contained in paragraph number 178 of the judgment delivered in the case of Dr Mubashir Hasan versus the Federation of Pakistan (PLD 2010 SC 265). After our satisfaction that the contempt committed by him is substantially detrimental to the administration of justice and tends to bring this court and the judiciary of this country into ridicule.

2. As regards the sentence to be passed against the convict, we note that the findings and the conviction for contempt of court recorded above are likely to entail some serious consequences in terms of Article 63 (1) (g) of the Constitution which may be treated as mitigating factors towards the sentence to be passed against him. He is, therefore, punished under Article 5 of the contempt of court ordinance (ordinance 5 of 2003) with imprisonment till the rising of the court today.