Monday, February 5, 2018

Federal Court Ends Extraditions Hurting Anti-Corruption Effort

February 4, 2018, Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court ruled that extraditions were unconstitutional. It cited Article 21 of the constitution which states that Iraqis could not be extradited by foreign authorities. This ends efforts by Baghdad to get corrupt officials deported from other countries back to Iraq for their corrupt practices. Recently, former Trade Minister Abdul Falah al-Sudani was extradited by Lebanon. He was found guilty in absentia after he fled Iraq. It also tried to do the same thing to ex-Defense Minister Ziad al-Qattan. Now that effort is over. High ranking Iraqi officials often escape graft charges by leaving Iraq. It appeared that route might finally be closed, but not anymore thanks to the Federal Court. This might hinder Prime Minister Haidar Abadi’s anti-corruption campaign, but that appears to be only focused upon cleaning up the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). With elections coming in May that might be all the premier hoping it will help him in the polls since the KRG is widely unpopular in the rest of the country.


Abu Zeed, Adnan, “Iraq takes custody of officials wanted in corruption probes,” Al Monitor, 1/31/18

Baghdad Post, “Federal Court says extradition of citizens violating constitution,” 2/4/18

Karim, Ammar, “Iraq faces ‘new war’ – on corruption,” Agence France Presse, 12/29/17

NRT, “Federal Court: Iraqi extradition may not be handed over to foreign authorities,” 2/4/18

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