Dinar Daily ........................ news from Iraq ................ 19 October 2012
Sinan al-Shabibi, Iraqi Central Bank Chief, Issued Arrest Warrant Over Corruption Allegations : BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi authorities have issued arrest warrants for the longtime governor of the central bank following allegations of financial wrongdoing, the country's judiciary said Thursday.
Allegations against Sinan al-Shabibi, who has led the bank since 2003, surfaced earlier this week while he was out of the country on official business. The charges are seen by the government's critics as an attempt to sideline the politically independent economist, and have been blasted as politically motivated by al-Shabibi's defense team.
Supreme Judicial Council spokesman Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar told The Associated Press that 15 bank officials are being sought along with al-Shabibi. He did not name the other officials or say what specific charges they face. Bayrkdar did not say when the warrants were issued.
Repeated efforts to contact the Ministry of Interior, which is responsible for carrying out the arrests, were unsuccessful.
Lawyer Waleed Mohammed al-Shabibi, a relative of the bank governor who is on his legal team, said he is not aware of any arrest warrants and does not know what charges they include.
"We are told that the investigation is secret, and so far we are being kept in the dark," he said. "We demanded to know the details of the case, but up until now, we haven't gotten a clear answer."
The attorney earlier this week criticized the allegations as politically motivated. The government denies the charge.
In 2011, Iraq's Supreme Court ruled that the central bank and other previously independent bodies should be put under supervision of the Cabinet instead of parliament given that their decisions are executive in nature.
The decision was widely criticized as putting the nonpartisan nature of these bodies at risk. Among the critics was al-Shabibi himself, who considered it a threat to the country's assets abroad.
"Even if concerns that the move against Shabibi is politically motivated prove unfounded, Maliki's opponents will be wary that the prime minister could seize the opportunity to exert greater control over the (central bank)," said Jamie Ingram, a Middle East analyst at IHS Global Insight in London.
The allegations were raised by a special parliamentary committee formed to probe the bank. They surfaced while al-Shabibi was attending a meeting of the International Monetary Fund in Tokyo. He is now believed to be in Europe, where it could be difficult for the government to arrest him.
Al-Shabibi and other officials are being investigated over allegations of financial irregularities involving the exchange of Iraqi dinars for hard currency. The central bank holds daily auctions of U.S. dollars to local banks, and aims to keep the dinar stable at close to 1,200 to the dollar.
Its efforts to stabilize the currency came under pressure earlier this year as the civil war in neighboring Syria and international sanctions against Iran caused a jump in demand for dollars sold by Baghdad, according to bank officials.
The bank issued a statement Thursday saying that its dollar auctions continue as normal in an apparent bid to head off any concerns about the currency's strength in light of the allegations. Still, the scandal threatens to damage Iraq's already shaky economy.
"The confusion and mess over the central bank was unjustified. To attack public figures through media outlets is the last thing Iraq's economy needs," Iraqi economist Majid al-Souri said. "The government should have formed a committee to investigate any shortcomings and find the right solutions for better bank policies instead of launching general corruption charges against public figures."
Associated Press writers Adam Schreck and Sameer N. Yacoub contributed reporting.
Iraq and Kuwait agree on the management of joint oil fields by a third-party, global company : 19 October, 2012 06:55:00
The Oil Ministry announced reach Iraq and Kuwait to an agreement that runs international oil company common fields between the two countries.
ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said in a press statement that the technical committees formed to negotiate on joint oil fields with Kuwait has made significant strides in their work, noting that Iraq is keen to resolve the issue of joint oil fields radically as he is keen not to alienate them.
Saleh casts doubt over corruption charges facing Iraqi Central Bank Governor : 18 October 2012
Complained the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Iraq the appearance of Mohammed Saleh ambiguity charges against bank governor Sinan al-Shabibi and some officials, which led to orders arrest, after being accused of causing volatility currency, stressing that Iraqi officials had not been identified if they want to go to a socialist economy or free.
The cabinet decided to replace the governor «Central» and the prime BSA Abdul Basit Turki carry out his duties, was considered by the parties to political interference by the government and beyond his constitutional powers. The head of the Parliamentary Integrity Committee Bahaa al-Araji said the issuance of an arrest warrant for al-Shabibi and a number of senior officials in the «Central» and other financial institutions, while the form of the parliament committee headed by First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Qusay al-Suhail has taken some actions that led to the issuance of arrest warrants.
Saleh said in a statement to «life» that «to refer the investigation to the Integrity Commission by the committee formed within the House of Representatives means that the Commission would take action, but so far we do not know what is there is no arrest warrant against any employee of the bank. He added: «sent to the Parliamentary Integrity Committee delegates them to the central administration and took full information about 29 employees. He pointed out that «the charges is one of the most prominent manifestations of transition in Iraq, and strange that all the important events that took place from the occupation and destruction of infrastructure, etc., does not mean anything to the official and all that is sought is accounting junior staff», pointing out that «accusing some lawmakers to us the existence of corruption in cash transfers abroad surprising, all laws adopted after 2003 is pushing for economic liberalization and preventing any form of restriction, and when we worked this principle accused that we of the instigators of smuggling money, and when we put controls and asked banks document certifying the cause of buying and turning them dollar accused we disagree with the Constitution and regulations of liberty, I greet you do not know what they want. He added: «in respect of the issue of foreign exchange, the currency auction customers submit their papers and their bills and we can not prevent them from buying any amount, they are buying on behalf of merchants and owners of capital.
On the accusation of deliberately Bank creating spreads between prices of the dollar within the auction market exploited by some banks, he said: «hit the market to attack the request of currency reached $ 500 million, mostly from Iraqis and we can not reject them, if Jhznahm currency accused us that we are funding Iran, which suffers from siege The rejection sales accused us to create a price difference, we do not know what to do.
Saleh stressed that «the Iraqi market is quite fierce and devouring any block in cash, and months before the fluctuating value of the dinar and made efforts to control it and return it to redress, but instead reward face charges. Regarding the presence of information indicating that the cause of the attack on the «Central» is to pressure him and force him to allow withdrawals from the balance cover currency, which exceeded more than $ 65 billion placed in foreign banks, he said: This needs to change the law of the Central, we do not reject the withdrawal of cover currency, but the law refuses, if غيروه it will be within the laws and no one objected.
And confirmed a member of the Economic Committee and investment in Parliament Nora Salem البجاري that «all of Representatives in favor of corrupt and negligent accounting, but we are against the charges through the media and try to exclude qualified people from office and give it to the leaders close to this or that party. She added that she learned that behind this case is politically motivated, but hoped to end the investigation and show whether the governor deserves accounting or not.
It pointed out that «the timing topic is very serious because we are in the process of issuing invitations to invest and start projects re infrastructure, and the accusation sends messages serious investors not to deal with Iraq, and create a kind of mistrust its laws, especially the Central represents interface country’s monetary in the world». She described the decision to appoint a new governor by the Council of Ministers exceeded the powers that the law «Central» make a separate body from the executive branch and the House of Representatives has the right to control it.
To economics expert said Haider Hussain Daoud «This measure would create a crisis in the market because the price of the dinar would fall heavily influenced by statements against CBE officials. The expert Majid picture, he said: «supposed to achieve with companies and banks, or with members of the Central, but this does not mean that accuses the entire organization.
The member of the Committee of Economy and Investment parliamentary Abdul Abbas estrus that «the House of Representatives formed a committee to investigate the charges against the Central … Held several meetings with the Board of Directors of the bank, and handled professionally from the information supplied, and recorded a defect in the bank produced fluctuations in currency rates, which would leave it up to spend.