Pakistan PM convicted of contempt: state TV

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was convicted of contempt of court by the country's highest court but avoided a jail term, state television reported.

The PM was charged for refusing to obey an order to write to the authorities in Switzerland to ask them to re-open corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

Gilani on Thursday was sentenced to be detained in the court until the hearing adjourned, state broadcaster Pakistan Television reported, and shortly afterwards emerged smiling and waving to supporters.

He had faced a maximum sentence of six months in jail in a case that has fanned political instability in a country already troubled by Al-Qaeda and Taliban violence.