Pakistan's Supreme Court on Monday ordered the indictment of former Interior Minister Rehman Malik for contempt of court for interfering in a probe into alleged corruption in a state-run steel firm, after rejecting his mercy plea.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said Malik's response to a contempt of court notice issued to him last year was unsatisfactory.
The bench observed he had interfered in the functioning of the court.
The bench ordered that proceedings to indict Malik for contempt would begin in seven days.
The Attorney General was appointed as the prosecutor in the case.
Last month, Malik had submitted an unconditional written apology and sought mercy from the court.
The Chief Justice observed on Monday that the apology was tantamount to a confession and it was up to the court to accept it or not.
Malik asked the bench not to adjourn the case against him till Tuesday as he planned to travel to Uzbekistan but the request was rejected by the judges.
Malik later told reporters outside the court that he had been stopped by the apex court from travelling to Uzbekistan.
The Supreme Court had issued a contempt of court notice to Malik in May last year for constituting a new investigating team to probe alleged corruption in Pakistan Steel Mills without seeking the court's consent.