Pakistani court disqualifies lawmaker for threatening judges

AP News
Posted: Feb 01, 2018 10:12 AM

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's Supreme Court on Thursday disqualified a lawmaker from the ruling party for five years after finding him guilty of threatening judges in a speech last year.

The court also sentenced Nehal Hashmi of the Pakistan Muslim League to one month in prison. Separately, the court also summoned a Cabinet minister to explain disrespectful remarks that the official allegedly made against the judges.

The decisions came a day after Hashmi apologized over his May 2017 speech in which he had threatened judges for ordering a corruption probe against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. In the speech, he said that once the judges retire, "we will make your life and (the lives of) your family members miserable."

Also Friday, the Supreme Court summoned deputy interior minister, Tallal Chaudhry, for criticizing the judiciary and saying that it allegedly failed to deliver "justice" in the case of Sharif, who was disqualified from office in July 2017 by the court for concealing assets.

Since then, Sharif himself has criticized the judges for ousting him from power, but has faced no legal action over his speeches.

Chaudhry is to appear before the court next Tuesday.

The decisions signal a growing mistrust and tension between judges and the ruling party in Pakistan.