Death threats delay Abadi's anti-corruption reforms in Iraq
Iraq's corrupt officials continue to use their power, money and militias to eliminate anyone who stands up to them, hindering the reform plans of Prime Minister Haidar Abadi.
Several anti-corruption officials and campaigning judges have been forced to drop their claims following serious threats to their lives.
"Most judges in the anti-corruption committee have received serious threats by officials involved in major corruption cases," a source in the Iraqi judiciary told al-Araby al-Jadeed.
"Threats ranged from the murder or kidnapping of the judges and their families to dismissal from their positions and even accusing them of corruption.
"The judges withdrew from the investigations in fear for their lives and those of their families," the source explained.
In addition, the source said the judges had complained to the executive authorities, which had failed to provide them with necessary protection.
|We will continue our work regardless of the serious threats we receive
- Talal al-Zobaei
Talal al-Zobaei, head of the parliamentary Integrity Committee, told al-Araby al-Jadeed that his committee received threats for following up corruption investigations.
"The committee will unite with the Integrity Authority and court to uncover corruption cases," Zobaei said, adding that combined efforts would begin with the issues of armament and petroleum ministry permits.
"A number of arrest warrants have been issued against a number of corrupt officials, and we are currently waiting for their implementation," he added. "We will continue our work regardless of the serious threats we receive.
"We will do our best to save the country from corruption."
Another Iraqi official, who works at the Supreme Judicial Council, told al-Araby al-Jadeed that all corruption cases that had been referred to court were currently suspended due to threats, which in turn caused the withdrawal of several judges and investigation committees.
"Most corrupt officials in Iraq continue their work without worrying about accountability," he said. "The threats have hindered all the possible reforms that Abadi had intended to carry out."
No officials have been held accountable since Abadi launched an anti-corruption campaign more than two months ago, despite uncovering several cases and referring them to court.