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Iraq: Leaders and senior officers referred to military courts

Iraqi Defence Minister Najah Al-Shammari

Iraqi Defence Minister Najah Al-Shammari issued an order on Thursday to refer several officers and commanders to military courts on corruption charges.

The ministry said in a brief statement that “Defence Minister, Najah Al-Shammari, ordered the transfer of some high-ranking officers and commanders to the competent military courts on charges related to corruption.”

The Ministry of Defence did not name the officers or specified their ranks.

The Prime Minister and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Adil Abdul Mahdi, had earlier requested to suspend studying the names of the officers of the Ministry of Defence due to be promoted, because of suspicions of corruption related to some affiliates of the military establishment.

READ: Iraqi militia leader in Russia for defence talks

For years, corruption has wasted Iraq’s resources, which are already plagued by declining revenues due to falling oil prices and increased spending, as a result of the high costs of the war against Daesh.

Last year, the Iraqi Commission of Integrity, an organisation tasked with prosecuting corrupt people, uncovered the issuance of more than 2,000 warrants for corruption charges in the country in 2017.

The Commission unveiled that arrest warrants were issued against 290 government officials, including ministers.

Iraq is among the world’s most corrupt countries, according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) over the past years.

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