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Iraq PM investigates former ministers on corruption charges

Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi delivers a speech on 8 March 2017 in Iraq [Feriq Fereç - Anadolu Agency]
Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi delivers a speech on 8 March 2017 in Iraq [Feriq Fereç/Anadolu Agency]

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi yesterday referred a number of former ministers and senior officials to the country’s anti-graft body over suspicion of corruption.

Al-Abadi’s office said in a statement that the prime minister approved a decision to refer several former ministers and senior officials to the Integrity Commission over fraudulent contracts awarded for the construction of schools in several provinces. The statement gave no further clarification.

The decision comes as massive protests spread from southern provinces to Baghdad with protesters demanding improved living conditions, better services including electricity and water as well as eradicating rampant state corruption.

Iraq ranks 169 out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s corruption index.

The country is the second largest producer of crude oil in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and receives billions of dollars a year from oil sale, but the Iraqi government is still unable to provide basic services to its people.

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