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Pakistan charges against suspended chief justice disclosed

[JURIST] Pakistani Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [official profile] is accused of misusing his influence to get his son jobs and promotions, according to details released for the first time Wednesday. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf suspended [JURIST report] Chaudhry on March 9, but no details of the charges were made public at that time. According to the charge sheet, Chaudhry "unlawfully used his position as a judge and chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to influence, harass and intimidate all concerned and compelled them to act in an unlawful manner."

In response to Chaudhry's removal, lawyers throughout Pakistan observed a nationwide strike [AP report] Wednesday, staging rallies in the cities of Karachi, Islamabad, and Lahore, among others. On Tuesday, one of Pakistan's three deputy attorneys general resigned [JURIST report], telling Reuters that the crisis over the suspension "had made it "very difficult for me to perform my duties." The suspension also sparked the resignation [JURIST report] of seven Pakistan judges on Monday. Pakistani lawyers staged a one-hour symbolic strike Monday and several hundred marched against the suspension in Karachi. Lawyers have boycotted the courts [JURIST report] since Chaudhry's suspension, and street protests [JURIST report] have resulted in injuries and arrests. Hundreds of Pakistani lawyers in business suits clashed [JURIST report] with police Saturday in Lahore, throwing rocks after riot police fired teargas to disrupt a gathering. AFP has more.

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