The Federal Supreme Court in Iraq recognized the lack of real will of the political class to combat corruption. This came in the wake of the Iraqi National Security Agency announcing that it had uncovered the largest crude oil smuggling network.
“Iraqis have lost their confidence in public offices due to widespread financial and administrative corruption among employees at a time when the administrative system in Iraq was one of the most prominent systems in the Middle East,” said head of the Federal Supreme Court Judge Jassim Mohammed Abboud.
While the parties behind the oil smuggling network remain unknown, defendants accused of embezzling $2.5 billion from a government taxpayer account are still at large. Nour Zuhair, the only defendant arrested in the case, was released on bail with authorities hoping to recover stolen funds.
As for Abboud, he told the Iraqi News Agency (INA), that corruption in Iraq is divided into two types.
“Petty corruption is what is committed by junior employees, and this leads to the Iraqi citizen losing confidence in the public office,” he said.
“Grand corruption is what is committed by senior officials or by some political parties. This corruption is what impedes the building of the state,” he explained.
Abboud stressed that “the lack of a real national strategy and intention to fight corruption is the reason for its prevalence.”
“When there is a real political will to end corruption, it will end,” he asserted.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Iraqi legal expert Ahmed al-Abadi said: “Efforts to combat corruption are minor compared to its prevalence in state institutions.”
“This is due to lack of political will,” explained Abadi, adding that those involved in major corruption cases are not pursued until after they had left their post in the government.