Two senior Iraqi officials were arrested on Sunday as part of the anti-corruption drive spearheaded by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.
The Anti-Corruption Committee detained Leader of al-Hal (Solution) Party Jamal al-Karbouli and his brother Mohammed, who is a lawmaker.
The party has 12 lawmakers in Iraq’s parliament. He is a businessman and owns major media institutions, including the al-Dijla television channel, which was shut down last year.
According to information obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat, Iraq’s judiciary issued arrest warrants against four deputies and ordered lifting their immunity.
The parliament is expected to vote on lifting the immunity later this month.
Asharq Al-Awsat also learned that another list that includes the names of senior politicians suspected of corruption, has been issued. The politicians have been banned from travelling.
Jamal, who is a doctor, did not receive an executive position until 2003 when he assumed the presidency of the Iraqi Red Crescent at the time.
However, his brother received the industry portfolio in former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki’s second government (2010-2014).
Karbouli established al-Hal party in 2008 and ran in the past three parliamentary elections, in which his party won 13 seats in one round and eight in another, and he also obtained more than one ministry for his party.
Until about a week ago, Karbouli was part of the Iraqi Forces Alliance, led by Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, while his brother Mohammed was a prominent leader in Halbousi’s Takadum Party.
However, they both withdrew from the alliance and joined prominent Sunni businessman Khamis al-Khanjar’s al-Azm alliance.
An Iraqi politician told Asharq Al-Awsat that many senior figures tried to interfere to prevent Karbouli’s arrest.
He attributed the mediations carried out by senior politicians, including Shiite leaders, to concerns that they might be next.
He expected the next arrested figure to be from the Shiite sect to avoid accusing the committee of only arresting Sunni figures.