MP: Arrests ordered for former Iraqi defense minister, air force commander

MP Alia Nassif.

Baghdad ( Arrest orders have been made for Iraq’s former defense minister and the air force commander over financial corruption, an outspoken parliamentarian has been quoted saying.

Aliya Nassif, a member of the National Iraqi Alliance, told Saud-owned Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that arrests warrants were issued for former defense minister Khaled al-Obaidi and air force commander Anwar Hamma Amin for “squandering public funds”.

“Arrests were ordered for air force commander Anwar Hamma Amin two weeks earlier in relation to squandering of public funds in Czech armament contracts, and there have also been made for former defense minister Khaled al-Obaidi,” Nassin said.

Nassif, according to the paper, ruled out that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi would take action against corrupt officials in general “because they belong to influential political groups… he does not want a clash with his allies and political partners”.

On Monday, U.S.-owned Alhurra network said arrest warrants had been issued for 48 Iraqi defense officials as well as interior ministry workers over suspicions of financial and administrative corruption.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has stressed on fighting corruption as a major target following the defeat of Islamic State militants in the country earlier this month.
Former defense minister al-Obaidi was sacked last year after a parliamentary impeachment over corruption. The parliament has also questioned several ministers and government servants for multiple financial and administrative abuses.

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