An anti-corruption court on Thursday issued arrest warrants for a former prime minister and a member of his cabinet for repeatedly failing to appear before a judge hearing corruption charges against them.
Yousuf Raza Gilani, who was prime minister from 2008 to 2012, along with ex-commerce minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim have been accused of granting billions of rupees in freight subsidies to fake trading companies run by front-men. The charges carry a jail term of up to seven years as well as fines.
Judge Mohammad Azeem of the federal anti-corruption court in Karachi issued the orders after Gilani and Fahim did not appear on Thursday and in previous hearings. The judge later adjourned the case till June 17, a court official said.
Both Gilani and Fahim are senior leaders of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party, which ruled from 2008-13 but suffered a heavy defeat in last year’s general elections.
Gilani’s four-year tenure came to an abrupt end after the Supreme Court convicted him of contempt for failing to ask Swiss authorities to re-open a corruption case against former president Asif Ali Zardari. The case was brought by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency while the pair was in power.