Aitzaz defends decision not to file appeal 
against verdict

ISLAMABAD — Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan who represented the ousted premier Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that the decision not to file an appeal against Gilani’s conviction on contempt charges was not a mistake.

By Afzal Khan

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Published: Fri 22 Jun 2012, 12:15 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 11:45 AM

“The court had done what it wanted to do,” he said while talking to reporters on the premises of the Supreme Court.

Aitzaz said that he had the appeal document ready, but the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had decided not to file it. It consisted of 250 pages and 146 questions. But the PPP had decided not to appeal against the verdict, fearing that Gilani would be disqualified anyway.

“The court, however, decided what the PPP feared. The seven-member bench did not disqualify him, but the three-member bench did. It (appeal) would have made no difference.”

He said that the three-member bench, in its April 26 verdict, had announced that a “question is likely to arise” on Gilani’s disqualification, however, it did not disqualify him.

“The bench said yesterday (Tuesday) that I should have filed an appeal against the verdict,” said Aitzaz. “They also said that they cannot amend their decision, I say you have amended it — you did what the seven-member bench did not do.”

Aitzaz said that he had prayed several times before the court that it should not take a decision against individuals, as it leaves no room for an appeal. “If tomorrow, the court rules that I am no longer a senator, then it leaves no room for me to appeal. Hence, suo motu notices are not taken in cases in which the respondent cannot appeal.”

He said that whoever will take the premier’s office will be issued a new order to write a letter to the Swiss authorities.

“My opinion has never changed. I have said this time and again that there is no harm in writing a letter to the Swiss authorities, but not writing is also not a crime.”

He said that until President Asif Ali Zardari is in power, a letter could not be written against him.

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