Ex-minister arrested in Iraq
Tuesday 02 June 2009
Iraq's biggest corruption scandal for years is deepening with the arrest of the former trade minister whose plane, while en route to Dubai, was ordered to turn around and return to Baghdad.
Abdul Falah al-Sudani, a British-Iraqi joint national, appeared in court yesterday on charges of corruption at the Trade Ministry which imports and distributes some $5bn (£3bn) worth of food aid rations. His arrest was reportedly ordered by the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who has pledged to clamp down on corruption.
Mr al-Sudani, 62, resigned on 14 May after being heavily criticised in parliament. The arrest warrant alleges his ministry imported expired food and signed illegal contracts. He denies the charges. The Trade Ministry is very important to Iraqis because it oversees the rationing system under which everybody with a ration card receives a nine-item basket of food and other essentials almost free of charge.
Iraq is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, according to the campaigning group Transparency International and the theft of state funds is crippling reconstruction. The case against Mr al-Sudani is being seen by many Iraqis as a test case which will decide if Mr Maliki is really willing to act against corruption.
In the past ministers and officials accused of corruption have been able to leave the country. In 2005, the former defence minister Hazem al-Shaalan left Iraq after refusing to answer fraud charges over the disappearance of $1bn for arms procurement.
Scottish independence: Scots of Corby take matters into their own hands in mock referendum - and deliver overwhelming verdict
Protesters fight to save Arturo, the polar bear sweltering in baking hot zoo
Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Supermoon 2014 in pictures: Moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Saharan remains may be evidence of first race war, 13,000 years ago
- 1 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 3 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
- 4 Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country
- 5 Barack Obama fist bumps Texas restaurant employee in support of gay rights
£28000 - £34000 per annum + excellent bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: In...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading publisher in...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency is currently ...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Software En...