Iraq issues warrants for 26 top officials over corruption

Iraqi authorities has issued arrest warrants for 11 ministers and minister-level officials that are suspected of being involved in corruption.  Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi announced this on March, 24.

His comment was published during a press conference in Baghdad, where he stated that a total of 1,267 corruption cases have been sent to the courts in the last six months, with 4,117 other cases across different government institutions still being investigated.

According to Abdul-Mahdi words, 1,593 arrest warrants had been issued against individuals suspected of corruption, 497 of which were arrested by local authorities. He added that arrest warrants had also been issued against 11 ministers and ministerial-level officials as well as 15 general-directors and similar individuals.

The speech of PM was delivered one day after he met with the head of the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council, Fayeq Zidan, who called on the Iraqi Parliament to lift the immunity of lawmakers suspected of being involved in corruption before being elected as members of parliament.

Successive Iraqi federal governments have not been able to put an end to corruption. The current government, who ran on a reformist platform, continued to struggle to address the widespread mismanagement of public funds while facing strong resistance from within its own institutions.

The embattled Middle Eastern nation continues to rank high on Transparency International’s list for corruption, fraud, and mismanagement of state institutions, some of the most significant challenges facing the country since the fall of the former regime in 2003.

Iraq ranks 168th in the list of 180 countries in terms of corruption, which puts the state in 12th place among the most corrupt countries in the world. It is noted that the country is one of the richest in oil reserves, but the fighting and the theft of state property make it one of the poorest in the world.