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Iraq: ‘prominent personalities’ to be tried on corruption charges

March 20, 2023 at 3:20 pm

Mohammed Shaya al-Sudani in Baghdad, Iraq [Iraqi Parliament Handout/Anadolu Agency]

Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shaya Al-Sudani said on Sunday that he expects “prominent personalities” to be tried “soon” over their alleged involvement in corruption. Al-Sudani’s comment was broadcast on Al Jazeera.

The prime minister’s media office posted on Twitter the text of his speech at the opening of the Baghdad International Dialogue Conference yesterday, in which he said the government is determined to combat the “corruption pandemic”.

The Iraqi Commission of Integrity (Nazaha) announced in February last year that 11,605 officials, including 54 ministers, were involved in “corruption” during 2021. This announcement led to an improvement in Iraq’s ranking in the global transparency index, despite it remaining one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Al-Sudani announced the formation of an anti-corruption commission in November to combat the crime in accordance with the ministerial guidelines. One of its goals is to extradite those wanted for corruption and recover looted public funds.

Over the past two years, many high-profile corruption files have made headlines in Iraq. In January, the head of Nazaha, Judge Haider Hanoun, announced that the authorities had recovered looted funds estimated at 3.7 trillion Iraqi dinars ($2.5 billion).

Last year, the Iraqi government approved the National Anti-Corruption Strategy proposed by the Public Integrity Commission for the years 2021-2024 to combat and limit corruption.

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