Today is going to be a politically charged day in Pakistan. Pakistan Prime Minister YR Gilani is most likely to be convicted for contempt of court charges. Use the thread for detailed coverage and analysis. ------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------- If convicted, Gilani will be first PM punished for contemp - Sabir Shah Thursday, April 26, 2012 LAHORE: If convicted, consequently imprisoned or fined on Thursday (today) for defying the Supreme Court orders regarding reopening of an old corruption case against President Asif Zardari, the 59-year old sitting Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani will be making history, as he will then be the first head of government around the world ever to be formally punished for insulting the arbiters on bench. However, the ruling Pakistan Peopleâ€™s Party might still have a few cards up its sleeve, like bringing the Speaker National Assembly into play and then make the Election Commission delay the proceedings regarding disqualification of the troubled Gilani from the Lower House of Parliament and keep him afloat, irrespective of the punishment he receives from the apex court. The whole of government may also opt to point guns at the Supreme Court, and who knows, President Asif Zardari might grant reprieve to his trusted lieutenant in dire-straits, the way he had done in May 2010 when he had gone on to exercise his Presidential/Executive prerogative to pardon the sitting Interior Minister Rehman Malik. If Supreme Court holds the incumbent premier culpable for contempt of court, he can be convicted that may lead to Gilaniâ€™s disqualification as member of the National Assembly for at least five years. As far as the category of defiant world rulers is concerned, former US President Bill Clinton was held in contempt of court by a lady federal judge for giving an â€œintentionally falseâ€ testimony about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky in the Paula Jones lawsuit in April 1999, marking the first time when a sitting president of the United States of America was ever sanctioned for disobeying a court order. Clinton had to pay $1202 to the presiding judge as a penalty and his law license was also eventually suspended for willfully disobeying the court orders. This amount of $1202 was equivalent to what Justice Webber Wright had incurred in travelling to Washington at Clintonâ€™s request to oversee the deposition. (Reference: The Washington Post edition of April 13, 1999) As reported by this scribe on April 30, 2011 at least 22 prime ministers all over the world have been found guilty of committing various crimes, leading to their conviction by courts during the last nine decades or so. The list of 22 convicted prime ministers also includes three Pakistani heads of the government. According to in-depth research conducted by The News International in April 2011, nine of these 22 convicted prime ministers (including Pakistanâ€™s Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) were awarded capital punishment. Of these nine executed prime ministers, four had hailed from Hungary alone. Bhuttoâ€™s daughter and another Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was convicted in 1999 for not appearing in court, though the Supreme Court later overturned that judgment. Benazir and her husband Asif Ali Zardari were sentenced to a five-year prison, fined $8.6 million and disqualified from Parliament for seven years by an Accountability Bench of the Lahore High Court, for allegedly taking kickbacks from a Swiss firm during Benazirâ€™s second stint in power (1993-96). The Supreme Court overturned this decision though. In July 2002, Benazir was also convicted by Accountability Court in Rawalpindi in the ARY Gold reference. She was sentenced to three years in prison in absentia, along with confiscation of her immovable properties. In August 2003, a Swiss magistrate had found Benazir and her husband guilty of money laundering. Another former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for corruption in July 2000. He had also been fined 20 million rupees and barred from holding public office for 21 years. After he was deposed by General Pervez Musharraf on October 1999, Nawaz Sharif was tried for kidnapping, attempted murder, hijacking and terrorism. A military court convicted him and awarded him life sentence. On July 17, 2009 the Supreme Court of Pakistan overturned a hijacking conviction against Nawaz Sharif.