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Pakistan court issues arrest warrant for former PM

An anti-corruption court issued arrest warrants for a former Pakistani prime minister and a member of his cabinet for repeatedly failing to appear before a judge hearing corruption charges against them.

KARACHI: An anti-corruption court on Thursday issued arrest warrants for a former Pakistani 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 frontmen.

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 the port city 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 People’s Party, which ruled from 2008-13 but suffered a heavy defeat in the country's first democratic handover of power.

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 were in power.

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