At a time when Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi warned that he will escalate his war against corrupt officials, the judiciary handed down on Tuesday prison sentences against a number of officials who were convicted in corruption-related cases.
Abadi announced last week that the corrupt had to either hand out the stolen money – and perhaps be pardoned – or lose their money and spend the rest of their lives in prison.
The Integrity Commission revealed on Tuesday that several judicial verdicts were handed down in cases it has investigated against officials charged with abusing public funds.
The Commission said in a statement: “The Criminal Appeals Board of the Baghdad Appeals Court approved the verdict against convicts Seyamand Zeid Ahmed Othman and Burhan Shawi Majul Al Tamimi, former directors of the Media and Communications Authority.”
The court added that it also ratified a verdict in absentia against Riad Mohsen Hassan al-Ani, former director general of the administrative and financial department in the Ministry of Finance.
The court approved a prison sentence against Sami Ahmed Jamil Al-Sheikhli, former president of the administrative body of the Army Sports Club.
"The Criminal Appeals Board of the Baghdad Appeals Court has also ratified five verdicts against Haydah Mehdi Jawad Taqi al-Sarraf, the former director of real estate registration in Karbala province and a decision to convict the defendant Riham Hamed Abbas, customer service officer at the Islamic Bank of Elaf,” it said.
Meanwhile, Abadi held on Tuesday evening a series of meetings with members of the Board of Supreme Audit and the Integrity Commission, asking them “to be harsh when dealing with the files of corrupt officials.”
Informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Abadi told the concerned members during the meeting: “Everyone know who the corrupt officials are. Therefore, we have to stop only convicting the small corrupt officials, and also deal with the big ones.”