Report: The scenario of ‘sacrifice’ began, Bouziri Abdul Mahdi … and approaching al-Maliki happened in itself!
A press report, Friday, sheds light on the new procedures in the files of holding the killers of demonstrators accountable and fighting corruption, against the backdrop of government pledges to prosecute those involved in acts of violence, confront corruption and protect state resources.
The report, which was published by the London newspaper Al-Arrab, and which was followed by “People”, (September 4, 2020), linked the summoning of the defense and interior ministers in the government of former Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who are the most senior officials to be summoned to investigate the violence that accompanied the protests, and the measures taken by the bank The central right of officials, including Yasser Sakhel, son-in-law of the State of Law coalition, Nouri al-Maliki.
The text of the report follows:
On Thursday, the Iraqi judiciary announced the summoning of the former interior and defense ministers to investigate the killing of protesters during the months-long popular protests, in the most prominent development in this embarrassing case for the Iraqi authorities, which is seen as a measure of the state’s seriousness and its ability to reduce the phenomenon of impunity and impunity. Which has always been a manifestation of its weakness and declining prestige.
The government of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi says that it is serious about imposing law, fighting corruption and ending the chaos of weapons, but many doubt its ability to do so, given the presence of powerful forces of armed parties and militias that the state is contesting its powers and directing its policies away from prejudice to the interests of the leaders and leaders of these forces Those involved in corruption and those involved in major crimes, including the killing of protesters and the assassination of leaders of the popular movement that has continued since the fall of last year and harassing them.
Iraqi activists have often doubted the possibility of accountability for the killing of protesters and militia leaders, and it is likely that it will be limited only to state officials and some security leaders.
A few days ago, the Al-Kazemi government issued an indication that the accountability process could reach circles close to influential figures, when announcing the decision of the Central Bank of Iraq to freeze the assets of nine former and current officials and seize their property, including the son-in-law of the former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, Yasser Sakheel and his brother Luqman Sakhel, on Background of non-payment of debts owed to the state.
The approach to the circle close to Maliki was considered an event in itself, because the man who headed the Iraqi government for eight years between 2006 and 2014 was able, by planting his followers in the various parts of the state, to create immunity for him against accountability despite his being accused of spreading corruption on a large scale and wasting hundreds Billions of dollars in oil money, and the weakening of the security and military establishment, causing ISIS to enter Iraq with all the disasters and tragedies that followed.
The announcement that the former defense and interior ministers would be subjected to investigation came in a statement by the Supreme Judicial Council, the structure that manages the affairs of the judiciary, which it issued after a meeting with the council’s chairman, Faiq Zaidan, National Security Adviser Qassem Al-Araji, National Security Service chief Abdul Ghani Al-Asadi, and counter-terrorism chief Abdul Wahab Al-Saadi.
The statement stated that judicial procedures were discussed in the meeting regarding the killings and injuries of demonstrators and members of the security forces during the protests.
He explained that the judicial investigative body in Rusafa in Baghdad had summoned both the defense ministers Najah al-Shammari and the interior minister, Yassin al-Yasiri in the previous government, to seek clarification from them about information related to the investigation of these cases.
He added that the commission also issued a number of arrest warrants against a number of employees of the ministries of defense and interior, in addition to arresting officers pending investigations and issuing sentences against others.
The defense and interior ministers of former Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s government are the most senior officials to be called to investigate the violence that accompanied the protests.
Last May, Mustafa Al-Kazemi’s government announced the formation of committees to investigate the violence that left 565 protesters and security forces dead during the protests, according to an official count.
Al-Kazemi has repeatedly pledged to prosecute those involved in the violence, but no accused has yet been convicted, in addition to his promises to tackle corruption and protect state resources.
During the past few days, one of the corruption files implicating a number of close associates of the former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was opened, as the Central Bank decided “to seize the movable and immovable funds of Yasser Saqil and his brother Luqman Sukhail, the former governor of Karbala, Aqeel al-Taraihi, Zuhair al-Araji, MP in Parliament, and Hajem. Al-Hasani, the former president of the House of Representatives.
The list of names also included Ali al-Quraishi, an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Walid Rida, an official in the Prime Minister’s Office, and Saeed Khader and Abdullah Muhammad Abdullah, government employees.
Al-Kazemi pledged to refer all the corrupt to the judiciary, regardless of their location in the country, but Iraqi observers are ruling out that this campaign will expand or take the character of a clash with Maliki at a time when the current Iraqi Prime Minister seeks to calm down with the parties and militias close to Iran that are moving on more than one front. To weaken him after his visit to the United States, and the stances and statements issued by it that bring him closer to Washington’s side than to Tehran’s side.
Observers pointed out that Al-Kazemi’s move is closer to reassuring protesters and achieving their demands than a declaration of war against influential figures, especially since fighting corruption is at the top of the demands of the massive protests that Iraq has witnessed since last October.
Well-informed Iraqi sources stated that al-Maliki had previously distributed his wealth among his relatives in anticipation of what might happen in the future.
The sources considered in a previous statement to “Al-Arab” that the Al-Kazemi strike did not miss its target, even if it did not proceed directly in the direction of Al-Maliki, and that it sent a message to him that his condition is completely unsafe, as he believes.
Large segments of Iraqis often look indifferent to the measures taken by the authorities of their country to confront the phenomenon of corruption and fight the widespread crime, and the media noise that accompanies these measures.
Some of them describe these procedures as superficial, formal, and circumstantial, and that the purpose behind them is to obtain a propaganda and media return, even if the matter requires the sacrifice of some of those responsible.
The families of the murdered, assassinated, kidnapped and forcibly disappeared protesters fear that some employees and even ministers will be sacrificed to appease the street demanding accountability and justice for the victims.
Even the most pessimistic Iraqis regarding confronting corruption see that achieving concrete results in this is impossible, given that the phenomenon is being fought at the hands of people who are already corrupt and run corrupt institutions, including the judiciary itself.
Political activists and opinion leaders describe anti-corruption measures as selective, challenging the authorities to dare to hold accountable one of those most widely accused of corruption, like Maliki, the leader of the Dawa Party. This is because most of the cases that the judiciary settles in relate to lower-ranking officials without approaching what the Iraqis call the big corruption whales, in reference to senior political officials and leaders of parties and militias whom suspicions have been hovering around for many years without anyone daring to open their files. In addition, many of those being tried on corruption charges are former officials and not current officials, and it is customary to give some of them the opportunity to flee outside the country and transfer the money they stole abroad, before their files are opened and judgments are passed against them.