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Swedish Prosecutors Investigate Iraqi Minister over Suspected Crime against Humanity

Swedish Prosecutors Investigate Iraqi Minister over Suspected Crime against Humanity

Tuesday, 26 November, 2019 - 06:45
Iraqi Defense Minister Najah al-Shammari. (EPA)

The Swedish Prosecution Office said on Monday it had launched a preliminary investigation into suspected crimes against humanity by an Iraqi minister.


"Reports have been received of an Iraqi minister who is suspected of crimes against humanity," the office said in a statement, without identifying the minister or giving further details about the allegations.


"The National Unit for International and Organized Crime is now working to see how they should proceed with the investigation, which is at a very early stage," it said, according to Reuters.


It declined to comment further.


The minister was later identified by AFP as Defense Minister Najah al-Shammari.


An unnamed Swedish-Iraqi lawyer told Svenska Dagbladet that he had reported al-Shammari to police in October for his role in the shooting of hundreds of protesters during weeks of unrest.


The defense minister is also under investigation for benefits fraud for claiming housing and child benefits from Sweden despite living in Iraq.


Swedish social insurance agency Försäkringskassan told AFP that they were unable to confirm whether they were investigating al-Shammari as all their cases are classified.


Al-Shammari arrived in Sweden in 2009 and was granted a permanent residency in 2011 before getting his citizenship in 2015, according to Swedish newspaper Expressen.


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