Iraq’s Integrity Commission has been active in issuing arrest warrants and arraignments against former and current senior officials accused of corruption in an effort to send a message to anti-government protesters on the seriousness of the Iraqi authorities in fighting graft.
After issuing a seven-year prison sentence last week against Najiha Abdul-Amir al-Shimari, head of Iraq's Martyrs Establishment, the Commission has sought to arrest scores of other government officials.
On Tuesday, it said Babil’s Criminal Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Governor Karar al-Abadi.
Other arrest warrants were issued against high-ranking officials in Najaf governorate.
Also, an arraignment was issued against Nineveh MP Ahmed Al-Jubouri for misappropriating funds during his tenure as Salaheddine governor.
On Wednesday, an integrity court in Kirkuk issued an arraignment against 13 members of the governorate council.
The court said it issued the order to summon current members of the governorate’s council based on the provisions of Article 340 of the Iraqi Penal Code.
In the Dhi Qar governorate, Judge Mohammed Haidar Hussein issued a one-year prison sentence against three officials based on the provisions of Article 331 of the Iraqi Penal Code.
A judicial source told Asharq Al-Awsat on condition of anonymity that the “Iraqi judiciary is part of the corruption problem and therefore, it could not become part of the solution to reform the country.”
The source added that since 2003, the judiciary has been the advocate of corruption and later a partner in this unethical system.
“The arrests and arraignment warrants against Iraqi officials are nothing but attempts to claim that the judiciary is serious in its fight against corruption. However, in reality, those arrests are biased,” he said.
The Iraqi Integrity Commission is tasked with investigating cases of corruption.
Last month, Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi said the Anti-Corruption Council would refer cases of nine former ministers and governors for trial.
Since October, Iraq has been plunged in massive anti-government protests against a ruling elite they accuse of rampant corruption and mismanagement.