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Baghdad freezes investigation process of the fall of Mosul

February 23, 2018 at 1:11 am

An investigation into how the city of Mosul fell to Daesh has stalled. A senior official in the Iraqi government told The New Arab that “the investigation into the fall of Mosul has now been frozen.” He explained that the investigation directly blames former Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, a senior aid Tariq Najm, former Defence Minister Saadoun Al-Dulaimi, former Undersecretary of the Ministry of the Interior Adnan Al-Asadi, as well as senior military commanders in the Iraqi army, senior officers of the Federal Police and local officials.

Thus far the investigation has taken  eight months and heard 100 testimonies from politicians and military leaders.

The senior official stressed that “the investigations and the statements of officers and reviews of recorded telephone conversations between the military leadership in Mosul, before its fall, and the office of Al-Maliki, reveal the existence of what is more likely a plan. All the details of Daesh members’ movements and their advance were being sent to Maliki, without his order.”

The official said that the investigation had show that al Maliki had sought to use the the fall of Mosul and its recapture as a boost to his political campaign. However the army quickly collapsed and his plan failed. In fact the flow militants into the country from Syria led to the a total loss of control on the part of the government and Iraqi forces.

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However, he stressed that the investigation will not be resumed again during the government of Haider Al-Abadi. This isn not because of insufficient evidence but because the investigation of the case targeted very senior people.

In late 2014, the Iraqi parliament voted to form a committee to investigate the causes of the fall of Nineveh province, at the request of 89 deputies. Moreover, in August 2015, it recommended the trial of 70 security and political officials, including Al-Maliki, holding them responsible for the escape of Iraqi forces from Mosul and Daesh control over it.

The report of the investigation committee included testimonies of military leaders who confirmed that Al-Maliki and the Governor of Nineveh at that time, Atheel Al-Nujaifi, were responsible for the fall of Mosul.

A Nineveh province council member, Hossam Al-Abar, stressed that “political compromises and factional and partisan interests led to the delay in resolving the issue of the fall of Mosul, and the absence of its results till now.”

He explained to The New Arab, “the government of Nineveh demanded, more than once, during meetings with Al-Abadi and Speaker of Parliament, Salim Al-Jabouri, for pressure on the judiciary and hold those who are convicted to account”.

He added that “the delayed announcement of the result of the investigation document, indicates the existence of considerable political pressure.”

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In June, 2017, the Iraqi MP Abdul Rahman Alloizi, revealed the existence of political persons “more powerful than the law” who are involved in the incident, noting that “the absence of political will to hold accountable the involved parties, especially that those in charge are prominent figures and from all types and sects, made everyone silent and unwilling to advocate justice.”

A member of a coalition of state law, led by Al-Maliki, Iskander Watut, considered that “the investigation of the fall of Mosul neglected the names of political and military figures.” He explained to The New Arab that “the authors of the document neglected for example the statement of the Chief of Staff of the Iraqi army, Babaker Zebari, who said that he ordered the withdrawal of military forces from Mosul, as well as not directing enough charges in the incident to the President of Iraqi Kurdistan, Masoud Barzani.

He added “I am not defending Al-Maliki, but to holding him fully responsible is illogical. It was not his fault, it is rather the fault of his military counsellor, Farouk Al-Araji, who failed to warn Al-Maliki of the danger of the breakthrough that occurred in Mosul.” He stressed that “the file is currently in the hands of the judiciary, and we trust it, but the follow-up committee of the case which is appointed by the Iraqi parliament is acting with a clear political bias.”

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At a time when MPs and political figures believe that the investigation document is in the hands of the Supreme Judicial Council, the supreme administrative authority responsible for Iraqi judicial affairs, a legal source from the Council confirmed that “the document was only handed over by the investigation committee to be checked, as the incident of Daesh’s occupation of Iraqi areas, where there are numerous security members, and the withdrawal of the army from Mosul is a military crime.”

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that “the fall of Mosul is a military crime, and the process of trial must be carried out before the Iraqi military courts,” noting that “the ordinary judiciary has nothing to do with this case.”