Pakistan’s prime minister has been charged with contempt of court for refusing to re-open old corruption cases against the country’s president.
If convicted, Yusuf Raza Gilani could be forced to step down and face up to six months in jail.
The case has raised tension between Pakistan’s civilian leaders and top judges and there are fears it could paralyse decision-making. Gilani has pleaded not guilty.
The Supreme Court’s action has been widely praised by newspapers and analysts. Corruption is the number one problem according to most opinion polls.
President Asif Ali Zardari is seen as the main beneficiary of an amnesty law passed under his predecessor Pervez Musharraf, which saw many corruption cases thrown out.
Zardari denies accusations that he laundered money using Swiss bank accounts.