Iraq’s Islamic Dawa Party said on Tuesday that it planned to sue Qatar’s Al Jazeera television channel for broadcasting a documentary critical of Nouri al-Maliki, the party’s leader and a former prime minister.
The documentary, broadcast last week, linked al-Maliki to a number of crimes and rights violations against the Iraqi people on the pretext of “fighting terrorism”.
Al-Maliki’s Dawa Party, for its part, described the documentary as being “full of lies”.
It went on to accuse Al Jazeera of “inciting” public opinion against Iraq’s political process and undermining what it described as its “victories” against “terrorism”.
The documentary claims to rely on “leaked classified documents”, which, it says, were issued by al-Maliki during his tenure as prime minister from 2006 to 2014.
In one of its more contentious assertions, the documentary states that al-Maliki committed “grave” rights violations, which included setting up secret detention facilities and ordering the torture, extrajudicial murder and “disappearance” of political opponents.
After al-Maliki’s term as premier expired in 2014, he served as Iraq’s vice president for a year before being sacked this summer by current Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
In August, a report prepared by an independent commission on last year’s fall of Mosul to the militant Daesh group found al-Maliki — along with Vice-President Osama al-Nujaifi — guilty of “gross negligence” by failing to stop the extremist group from capturing Iraq’s second largest city.
The report has since been submitted to Iraq’s Commission on Public Integrity and Supreme Court, which are expected to carry out further investigations regarding its findings.
In June of last year, Daesh overran Mosul, prompting Iraqi troops — who were heavily armed and numerically superior — to flee before the onslaught.
Following the spectacular military victory, the extremist group went on to capture large swathes of territory in both Iraq and Syria.