Pakistani PM Charged With Contempt

Published February 13, 2012 5:36AM (EST)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's Supreme Court has charged the prime minister with contempt for defying its orders to reopen a corruption case against his political ally, President Asif Ali Zardari.

The development on Monday escalates a political crisis that has gripped the nuclear-armed nation

If found guilty, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani could be imprisoned and lose his job.

The court will now hear the case. A verdict could take several weeks or months.

Gilani has refused to order the corruption probe into Zardari, saying the president has immunity from prosecution while in office.

By Salon Staff

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