Pro-Iran Iraqi MPs seeks travel ban, corruption probe for ex-PM Kadhimi

Pro-Iran Iraqi MPs seeks travel ban, corruption probe for ex-PM Kadhimi
MPs from the pro-Iran Coordination Framework have called for former Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to be prohibited from leaving the country and investigated for corruption.
2 min read
21 October, 2022
Mustafa al-Kadhimi served as prime minister of Iraq from May 2020 to October 2022 [Yuki Iwamura/AFP via Getty]

Political parties in Iraq which are part of the pro-Iran Coordination Framework are increasingly targeting former Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, accusing him of graft and corruption.

MPs from various parties in the pro-Iran umbrella group have submitted official requests to the public prosecutor asking that Kadhimi be banned from travelling out of the country to help investigate alleged corruption, The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported on Friday.

Ali Turki, an MP from the Sadiqoun bloc, which is affiliated with the Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq militia, said MPs were also seeking travel bans and investigations into some of Kadhimi's aides and other officials for corruption.

Turki had previously said that Kadhimi's government "saw the spread of corruption in all parts of the state, which led to a major waste and embezzlement of public money".

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Muhammad al-Sihoud, a senior figure in the Coordination Framework, said travel ban requests were going to be made to parliament "to prevent Kadhimi and his team from travelling, and hold them accountable for the problems and mistakes deliberately committed".

Kadhimi came under financial scrutiny this month after an MP shared a document purportedly showing the prime minister having spent tens of billions of dinars of public money on furnishings, cars and other items for his offices.

Last week, an official Iraqi anti-corruption body said it had begun an investigation into the theft of $2.5 billion dollars from the coffers of the state-owned Rafidain Bank.

Kadhimi, a former intelligence chief and journalist, became prime minister of Iraq in May 2020.

His appointment angered some pro-Iran groups, who said he was too US-friendly. He faced an assassination attempt in November, when three rockets were fired at his home in Baghdad's Green Zone.

Pro-Iran militias were accused of responsibility at the time.

He stayed on caretaker prime minister after elections in October last year.

Parliament approved the appointment as prime minister earlier this month of Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, who was nominated by the Coordination Framework.

Iraq had previously suffered a year of political paralysis and deadlock as the Coordination Framework and its allied militias clashed with supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose party won the most votes in the election.