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Mar 15, 6:18 AM EDT

Pakistani court charges deputy minister for insulting judges

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ISLAMABAD (AP) -- A Pakistani court has charged the country's deputy interior minister with insulting judges and set a hearing date for his testimony later this month.

The official, Talal Chaudhry, pleaded not guilty during an appearance before the court on Thursday.

Chaudhry is alleged to have insulted judges in a speech he made after the judiciary disqualified former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office last July.

The court set a hearing for March 27 for Chaudhry to testify.

Sharif, dismissed for concealing financial assets abroad, has also criticized judges but his criticism has not led to any indictment so far. He is currently facing trial on corruption charges.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday indicted another official, Minister for Privatization Danyal Aziz, in a contempt case for making critical speeches against judges.

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