Hassan al-Yasiri for {morning}: we exceeded the red lines by resolving the files of corruption

10/4/2017 12:00 am

Baghdad / Ahmed Abed Rabbo

According to its president, Dr. Hassan al-Yasiri, the Commission has completed "great progress" in completing investigations into suspicions of corruption and prosecuting those involved in it, bypassing all the red lines that stand in the way of pursuing the corrupt and revealing the truth despite the challenges and obstacles. Large.

In an interview with Al-Sabah, Al-Yasiri said that "the proportion of the disclosure of the receivables in the presidency and the Council of Ministers reached 100 percent, but in the House of Representatives amounted to a significant improvement of only 49 percent.

The following is the text of the interview:

What actions were taken after you assumed the position of Head of the Integrity Commission?

Since taking over responsibility in the middle of 2015, we have begun to take several mechanisms to activate the fight against corruption in the country, taking into consideration that these mechanisms are acceptable in international circles. These mechanisms include raising all red lines in front of large files. earlier it came under pressure and was afraid to open some files.

The Commission has tried through its new mechanisms to develop an "unconventional" method of work. The previous work was to receive complaints about corruption and then move towards it. Now the initiative has been taken by direct action towards ministries and other state institutions and the opening of all files.

In order to carry out this responsibility and to keep investigators away from pressures and threats, we have formed integrated investigative investigative teams, instead of relying on one investigator. This experience has won the admiration of many countries of the world, especially with the success of these teams to a large extent opening files of corruption in ministries Trade, industry, minerals, justice, agriculture and education. Through its investigations, dozens of cases of corruption have been brought to justice through direct charges against ministers and other officials. Several arrest warrants have been issued against them.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Where did the Commission arrive in the file of the disclosure of financial liabilities to senior officials in the State?

In order to activate this file, we sent an official letter to the Council of Ministers, including the Commission's intention to take the maximum legal action against those responsible for disclosing financial liabilities, As a result, many senior officials were referred to the judiciary for not disclosing their debts. The Commission also submitted a proposal to the prime minister, including the salary of the official who does not disclose his financial liability.

As for the responsiveness of officials, their percentage in the Council of Ministers and the Presidency of the Republic reached 100%, but in the House of Representatives amounted to 49%.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] What are the most important steps taken by the Commission to follow up the inflow of officials' money and the illegal gains?

The Commission followed the money of officials and began to apply the principle of "where you this?", And for the first time in the history of Iraq, has been referred to the Deputy Prime Minister, and some deputies and governors and members of provincial councils to eliminate because of the inflated funds.

After these measures, some have waged a vicious war against the body. Strangely enough, these people do not speak to the media about their cases that have been referred to the judiciary. They speak inaccurate words in order to fight the tribunal and mix the papers.

The Commission's commitment to the legal framework and non-disclosure of names before the end of the investigation comes for the sake of the safety of investigations and access to the full truth, and this commitment was exploited by some to abuse the Commission.

As an example, one of the officials suddenly began to attack the body. I was surprised at this new position by the official, but after inquiring from the investigations department, it turned out that the son of this official was involved in a corruption case involving forging an instrument worth more than six billion dinars. Opened an investigation into it, began to attack the body on the pretext of not pursuing large files of corruption.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] How did the Commission deal with the travel ban on officials accused of corruption?

There is a provision in the law of the Commission that allows it to take any action it deems appropriate to combat corruption, and on the basis of that, the Commission issued a decision to prevent officials accused of corruption allegations of travel, including the Commission 400 officials, including ministers and deputies present, and thanks to this decision began the judiciary movement large decisively represented a lot of outstanding issues.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] What is your response to this?

There is a big problem facing the Commission, including the lack of knowledge of many of its functions, as most observers do not differentiate between the work of the Commission on the one hand and the judiciary on the other .. The Commission under the law investigatory body performs files of corruption and sends to the judiciary, Of its functions.

Therefore, the Commission has considered over the past period in 12 thousand cases and referred to the judiciary nearly 9 thousand cases, and the delay that must be asked by the judiciary, and in spite of that the Commission did not leave the cases in arrears, always directed inquiries to the judiciary on this.

One of the most prominent reasons for the delay in the arrest of the spoilers lies in some procedures. After the Commission charges the ministers or senior officials of the state, and sends the file to the judiciary, which may not take action quickly to resolve, the ministry asks the accused accused her minister to open an administrative investigation on The case, as is well known, the ministry is unable to conduct a transparent investigation for fear of the minister, which makes the case neglected or rejected, and some cases are sent to the Office of Financial Supervision for the audit may delay this matter months, and thus contribute to delay the resolution of cases.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] There are suspicions of corruption being circulated in the media.
Every official or deputy talked about corruption suspicions through the various media, contacted him personally, and asked him to bring his files to help integrity in the detection of corruption, but most were not serious.
One of the deputies in the current session talked about sending more than 18 thousand cases of corruption to the Commission, and this speech is inaccurate, and after the query shows that the number of cases sent by him does not exceed 44 cases and was not the reason for the transmission of integrity.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] There are some cases of bribery and blackmail.
The citizen, when reviewing a department, may not clash with the minister or the official directly, but with the competent employee, and may be subjected to cases of extortion, but although the fight against corruption of this kind is not our competence, but the Commission and the responsibility of the committees formed secret inspection, They travel in ministries and departments as auditors and monitor cases of corruption that may occur in addition to irregularities. Many of these cases have been caught in the criminal case.

These teams also worked to monitor the irregularities that occur in the ministries and official departments and raise recommendations to the higher authorities in those institutions, in order to solve and address the imbalance.

* What is your role on education in order to fight corruption?

Educating citizens about the values ​​of integrity, honesty and professional behavior, is one of the tasks of the Authority, as it implemented a lot of awareness programs and concluded a lot of memorandums of understanding in this regard, including with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, to disseminate the concepts of integrity in the academic circles, The Commission, in agreement with the Ministry of Education, has developed a reference manual for the dissemination of the concepts of integrity among the educational circles and schools, in addition to the fact that the Commission currently has great cooperation with religious forums, especially the Shiite and Sunni Endowments and Religious Religions. Integrity and rejection of corruption.

The Commission also launched a project called "My Secret Service", which is directed to public officials in order to encourage them to adhere to the moral duty of the post. The organization's department also launched the "Women Against Corruption" project.

The Iraqi Academy for the Prevention of Corruption, which is the first in the Middle East and the third in the world after the Anti-Corruption Academy in Vienna and Malaysia, is working on spreading the principles of integrity and training state officials on the ethics of public service.

* Is the process of fighting corruption in the country need new legislation?

Yes, of course, during the work on combating corruption we found an urgent need to review or amend some laws, in addition to the enactment of new laws, so we made the 2015-2016 legislative revolution, where the body prepared a draft of 15 laws, some sent to Parliament and others were sent To the government.

The draft law on the protection of witnesses, experts, informants and victims, the draft law on access to information, in addition to the draft amendment of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the draft amendment of the law of discipline of state employees and the private sector, as well as the amendment of the draft law of the accountability and justice.
However, there is a significant delay in the House of Representatives regarding the legislation or amendment of some laws sent by the Commission.

* Transparency International reports always put Iraq among the most corrupt countries, what is your assessment of these reports?

Not only Iraq, but a lot of countries question the reports of Transparency, because most of them are not in the field. When the organization talks about corruption in Iraq, it does not send a team or committee or conduct a questionnaire inside Iraq, In determining the degree of corruption depends on the absence of some legislation without field work, which makes their reports unfair.

Although the organization is not international and civil society, the Commission is interested in its reports, especially in the fight against corruption. It is worth mentioning that the latest report of the Organization brought Iraq out of the list of the 10 most corrupt countries.

What are the mechanisms for follow - up funds smuggled abroad?

And the Integrity Commission is responsible for tracking the money obtained from corruption and smuggled abroad after 2003. In this context, the Recovery Department of the Commission, which was established in 2013, managed to achieve achievements during a record period which consisted of hundreds of recovery files Smuggled money and accused, and agreements have been concluded with some countries in order to return the money and hand over the accused.

That this file needs serious cooperation by the countries that embrace the money, so we submitted a proposal to the Prime Minister to grant a proportion of them to those countries in the event they were returned to Iraq.

What amounts were recovered during the past year?

That the Commission and with great efforts was able during the past year from the suspension and the return and issuance of judicial rulings amounts exceeded two trillion dinars, especially that those efforts came through preventive or deterrent measures carried out by Commission.

As for the issue of the transfer of ownership of some land in Tikrit, the Department of Investigation in cooperation and coordination with the Office of the Inspector General of the Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works stopped the transfer of ownership of land area (1253) dunums in Tikrit, back to the corridors of the former regime, as the suspension of transfer of ownership came because of violation of instructions Through the concession of the Directorate of the Municipality of Tikrit for the land area in favor of a company of trade and general contracting.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Last August, you announced a vision to combat corruption, including solutions and proposals that support the government reform project. What are the main points of this vision?

Apart from theorizing and professional work, the vision we have provided is in the fight against corruption and support the reform and the support of the oversight bodies, and the most prominent points of that vision is to establish a specialized district integrity in the provinces of all the country, to be administratively linked only with the body while remaining independent from the technical point of view to prevent the pressures that May be exercised on some judges, and this requires legislative intervention.

The vision focused on the need to reject the criteria of partisan quotas in the government ministries and jobs, and the view that the position is compensation or reward, with the adoption of new criteria for the selection of administrative leaders in the country, provided that the standards of integrity, honesty, expertise and specialization, All of their relatives are assigned to the institutions in which they work.

The vision also envisages the establishment of a central agency to undertake the task of granting and managing government contracts at the state level, especially the important ones, with the importance of choosing the members of this central body according to the standards of expertise, integrity and independence.

Our vision focused on the need to abolish the economic committees of some parties with the importance of allowing the IHEC through legislative intervention to take the pledge of all parties before the election to not adopt any economic committee working in the ministries and institutions of the State, Relationship.

And called for the establishment of a specialized court to try ministers and those with special grades with the adoption of the government and the House of Representatives a legislative text obligates all state officials to disclose their financial liabilities.

It also highlighted the need for some provisions of the applicable Penal Code, particularly those relating to corruption offenses, to be consistent with those adopted by some States of the world that have experienced or are experiencing conditions similar to those of Iraq, where sanctions are being toughened at times of corruption; In order to combat it and eradicate it, not to reward the perpetrators of "granting them a general amnesty" with the importance of activating the Federal Public Service Council; in order to reduce the phenomenon of party and random appointments, and activating the application of e-government and electronic window and the unified national card.

It also included the strict supervision of each minister and the head of a body or entity not connected to the Ministry; to prevent the phenomenon of harnessing ministries to party interests, and not allowing ministers, deputies, governors and members of local councils to complete preliminary or higher studies during their tenure in public office, For public service only.

In order to preserve the dignity of the employee, the ministries and institutions should be allowed to complete the pension treatment of the employees by them after coordination with the General Pension Authority. Then, this transaction should be referred to the latter, provided that the salary is not deducted from the employee until he receives his pension.

It is also necessary to establish and establish a special body of the Integrity Commission, which shall be dealt with in accordance with the law, and the system of inspectors shall be linked to the Commission integrity .