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Iraqi court closes corruption case against Parliament Speaker

World Tuesday 09/August/2016 17:49 PM
By: Times News Service
Iraqi court closes corruption case against Parliament Speaker

Baghdad: An Iraqi court closed a corruption case brought against Parliament Speaker Salim Al Jabouri by Defence Minister Khaled Al Obeidi, citing lack of evidence, a judiciary spokesman said on Tuesday.
In parliament last week, Obeidi accused Jabouri and five other Members of Parliament (MPs) of lobbying for businesses seeking contracts to sell overpriced planes, vehicles and other goods to the armed forces. He said they sought to influence ministry appointments and some tried to blackmail him. All six denied the accusations.
The spokesman, Judge Abdul Sattar Al Bayraqdar, told state television: "The evidence is lacking."
A travel ban imposed on Jabouri because of the accusations was lifted on Tuesday, the speaker's spokesman, Imad Al Khafaji, said.
Obeidi made the accusations while appearing before parliament on August 1 to respond to separate corruption allegations at his ministry. He called his summons to address MPs a "conspiracy by the corrupt."
The Defence Ministry has been accused by lawmakers of wasting billions of dollars in public funds and weakening the armed forces to the point where they collapsed in 2014 in the face of the threat from IS militants, under the previous government, led by Nuri Al Maliki, who was also acting defence minister.
IS seized a third of Iraqi territory but has since been pushed out of many of those areas by militias and a military that is slowly being rebuilt with the support of a US-led coalition.
The armed forces are preparing to try to recapture Mosul, IS's capital in Iraq.
Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi, who succeeded Maliki in 2014, has made the fight against corruption a priority but his efforts have been met with resistance and caused major disruption to Iraqi politics.
Iraq ranks 161 out of 168 on Transparency International's Corruption Index.