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Nargis Sethi to testify in PM contempt case today

March 7, 2012 - Islamabad

Pakistan Cabinet and Defence Secretary Nargis Sethi is poised to testify before the Supreme Court today (Wednesday) when its seven-member bench resumes the hearing of a contempt of court case against Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

Gilani's counsel Aitzaz Ahsan will submit summaries, dated May 21 and September 21, 2010, along with orders passed by his client in response to the court's verdict on the reopening of Swiss cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, The Daily Times reports.

The September 21 summary of the law ministry contains advice/consultation for the prime minister not to write a letter to Swiss authorities for reopening corruption cases against the president. Aitzaz says Gilani was bound to follow the legal opinion of the law ministry.

Sources said that in its May 21 summary, the ministry had suggested that Gilani write a letter to the Swiss government for reopening graft cases and that a focal person should be appointed for perusing the case abroad.

They also said that Additional Law Secretary Sultan Shah had moved the first summary, adding that Law Secretary Masood Chishti sent the second summary on September 21, 2010, recommending the premier not to write a letter.

At the last hearing, Aitzaz had requested the court to summon former law minister Babar Awan, Masood Chishti and Nargis Sethi, who had signed the summaries, as court's witnesses.

The court, however, had rejected his request, asking him to produce the trio as defence witnesses.


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