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Court appearance for Pakistan PM

Yousuf Raza GilaniMr Gilani has acknowledged he would have to stand down if convicted

Pakistani PM Yousuf Raza Gilani is expected to be charged with contempt in an appearance before the country’s Supreme Court.

Mr Gilani is accused of failing to re-open corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

The prime minister, who lost an appeal in the case last week, faces jail and being barred from office if convicted.

Mr Gilani argues that the president – who denies the corruption charges – has immunity as head of state.

President Zardari is accused of using Swiss bank accounts to launder bribes.

The Supreme Court has said it will only drop the case if Mr Gilani writes to the Swiss authorities and asks them to re-open the cases against Mr Zardari.

Mr Zardari says the charges against him are politically motivated.

Analysts say the case is part of a stand-off between the government and the judiciary, which many believe is being backed by the military as it pursues the case against the civilian administration.

In an interview with Al-Jazeera television, Mr Gilani acknowledged he would have to stand down if convicted.

“If I’m convicted, then I’m not even supposed to be a member of the parliament,” he said.

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