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Pakistan PM charged with contempt

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Pakistani prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani arrives at the Supreme Court for a hearing in Islamabad, Pakistan (AP/Anjum Naveed)

Pakistani prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani arrives at the Supreme Court for a hearing in Islamabad, Pakistan (AP/Anjum Naveed)

Pakistani prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani arrives at the Supreme Court for a hearing in Islamabad, Pakistan (AP/Anjum Naveed)

IPakistan'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 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.

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

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