Lawmaker says trade minister misled authorities, violated the law

BAGHDAD / The chairman of the parliamentary integrity commission on Sunday accused the Iraqi minister of trade of misleading authorities and violating the law, and his brother of seeking kickbacks from sugar importing companies. “The minister of trade, Falah al-Sudani, provided the court with misleading information concerning the appointment of his brother to a position in the ministry. The minister had asserted that his brother was not employed in the ministry although that he (his brother) has a ministry ID confirming that,” MP Sabah al-Saedi said during a parliamentary session held today to question Sudani on corruption charges. Saedi also accused the minister’s brother, Sabah, and his nephew, Ammar, of receiving kickbacks from sugar importers. The two, Saedi said, would collect $40 U.S. dollars for every ton of sugar that entered the country. Sudani dismissed the general inspector in the Ministry of Trade, Abdulhadi Abdulmonem Hassan, who found Sabah and Ammar to be involved in administrative corruption cases, Saedi added. “The general inspector asserted that he had received direct threats from the minister’s brother…. ‘You have to accept what the minister will offer you, otherwise, you and your family will be liquidated’,” Saedi noted. Meanwhile, Sudani rejected the accusations as untrue, saying that the inspector had requested that he be moved to another position due to the deteriorating security situation in Baghdad at that time. The minister added that he possesses documents confirming Hassan’s involvement in illegal activities. SS (S) 1

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