53 warrants issued for officials in April, including three current MPs: Commission of Integrity
Arrest warrants for 53 officials had been issued against officials in April, the Iraqi Commission of Integrity announced on Monday as the government takes action against corruption.
“The warrants include three current members of the parliament and one former parliament member,” Iraqi state media reported on Monday, quoting a statement from the commission.
The warrants also include three former ministers and eight governors, two of which are still in office.
Iraq’s recent crackdown on corruption followed nationwide protests in October 2019. Among the protestors’ main demands was the end of corruption.
Iraq ranks among the most corrupt nations in the world, ranking 160 out of 180 in Transparency International’s annual report.
The government has worked to combat corruption and recovered around a billion dollars in 2020. But corruption has been deeply ingrained in the networks of power that have flourished since 2003, and the government is “unable” to root it out, Rebwar Karim, a member of the finance committee said late last month.
Iraqi President Barham Salih announced last week that he is drafting legislation to fight corruption and recover an estimated $150 billion that has been taken out of Iraq since 2003.
“The penalties for those convicted of corruption offenses include confiscation and dispossession of all their movable and immovable property, and legal documents and instruments,” according to the presidency.
The European Union and United Nations are partnering with Iraqi and Kurdistan state institutions in a 15 million euro initiative to combat corruption.
“This project helps Iraq deliver on its own national and international commitments and respond to the clear expectation of Iraqi citizens to rid Iraq of the plague of corruption,” EU ambassador to Iraq, Martin Huth said last week.