No transfer for Hashemi, Baghdad claims

Jan. 3, 2012 at 12:55 PM   |   Comments

BAGHDAD, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- A case involving terrorism allegations filed against the Iraqi vice president will remain in Baghdad's jurisdiction and not Kirkuk's, a judicial council said.

Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wants Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi arrested on terrorism charges. The Kurdish leader denies the allegations.

A high court in Iraq said Tuesday there was no basis to claims that Hashemi's case was transferred to Kirkuk.

"Reports about a possible transfer of Hashemi's case to Kirkuk are totally unfounded," council spokesman Abdul Sattar Birkdar told Iraqi satellite channel al-Sumaria.

Hashemi sought refuge in Erbil, the administrative capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government. The country's Interior Ministry on Dec. 19 aired alleged confessions from Hashemi's bodyguards, who accused him of financing a death squad.

Iraqi lawmakers Tuesday had their first session of 2012, though lawmakers from the Sunni-backed Iraqiya slate were absent. Reidar Visser, an expert on Iraq, writes on historiae.org that Kurdish lawmakers briefly walked out of the Tuesday session after a quorum was reached.

Kurdish lawmakers were upset after a political ally of Maliki accused Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, of harboring Hashemi, ostensibly in violation of the country's anti-terrorism law.

The Iraqi news station, in reporting on a roadside bomb in Baghdad, notes the country is going through a "major political crisis."

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