First Published: 2010-02-28

 
Proof against barred Iraq candidates to be released
 

Lami says JAC has evidence Mutlak has financially supported armed groups that have killed Iraqis.

 

Middle East Online

By Prashant Rao - BAGHDAD

Mutlak insists that he was kicked out of the Baath party in 1977

Evidence that led to candidates being barred from Iraq's March 7 election for suspected links to Saddam Hussein will be released in the coming days, the head of the committee that disqualified them said on Saturday.

Ali al-Lami said the evidence was being organised by the Justice and Accountability Committee (JAC) so that it could be presented to the media before the parliamentary election takes place next Sunday.

"We have already decided to release these documents this week," he said in an interview in Baghdad. "The most important thing is to release the information before the election."

Asked to provide a specific day when the documents would be made public, Lami declined to give details.

"Announcing the release of these documents needs a press conference," he said.

"The press conference requires some preparation. Showing these documents to the media also needs some preparation to collect all the documents, to print them, etc."

Asked why preparations were taking time, Lami replied: "Why do you want everything to go so fast? We haven't completed our preparations, we need time. We are also having some problems with the candidate Saleh al-Mutlak."

Mutlak, head of leading Sunni Arab grouping the National Dialogue Front, was the most high-profile candidate barred from the election for alleged ties to Saddam's now outlawed Baath Party.

Mutlak insists that he was kicked out of the Baath party in 1977, two years before Saddam became president, because he opposed its policies.

Lami said the JAC had evidence that Mutlak had financially supported armed groups that had killed Iraqis, in the form of confessions from detainees and arrested suspects, but he did not say when this was alleged to have occurred.

"We have sent all this evidence to the prosecutor and it will be sent to the Central Criminal Court of Iraq," he said.

"The law will take its course. Until now, we don't know if we are able to announce this information and documents or not, because we are waiting for the opinion of the court.

"Maybe the detainees' confessions cannot be released because it will affect the security situation."

He said that the JAC would still publish all of the other available evidence against candidates. According to Lami, a total of 511 candidates were initially barred, but 28 were eventually reinstated.

The election, the second parliamentary ballot since Saddam was toppled, is seen as a test of reconciliation between the Sunni Arab minority that dominated the now executed leader's regime and the Shiite majority that leads the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Around 19 million people have the right to vote, including 1.4 million citizens living in 16 countries abroad, according to organisers.

A total of 6,500 candidates will contest the election which will feature 10,000 polling stations and 54,000 ballot boxes, according to Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC).

 

Arab leaders reject 'foreign interference' in their affairs

UN chief in Baghdad to review aid efforts

Lebanese PM Hariri visits Saudi Arabia

Turkey says military operation in northern Syria over

Palestinian pints divide Israeli pub

Rush hour on Mosul's 'displacement highway'

Palestinians commemorate ‘Land Day’

Qatar Airways to offer free laptops on US flights

American-Israeli teen arrested for US bomb threats 'has tumour'

Netanyahu vows to move ahead on new settlement plan

Tillerson says Assad’s fate up to Syrian people

Number of Syrian refugees tops five million says UN

Deal struck in Israeli row over public broadcaster

Palestinian NGOs urge Hamas to reopen border

Austria issues Turkey travel warning

US Secretary of State Tillerson in Ankara for talks

Jailed leader of pro-Kurd party to start hunger strike in Turkey

IS truck bomb kills at least 14 at Baghdad checkpoint

Iran says Arabs should focus on Zionist, not Iranian, meddling

Israel cuts $2-million contribution to UN

Israeli police shoot dead Palestinian woman armed with scissors

Bahrain sentences two to death for police bombing

Boat from Libya capsizes in Med, 146 migrants feared missing

Saudi police kill 2 gunmen during raid in Shiite-majority town

Over 60,000 S.Sudanese flee to Sudan in last three months

Bus bombing hits Syria's Homs, five dead

CAF chief Ahmad backs Morocco 2026 World Cup bid

US arrests Turkish banker for helping Iran violate sanctions

Turkey voices opposition to Kurdish flag in Kirkuk

Engineers to carry out urgent maintenance on IS-held Syria dam

Palestinian president meets Trump envoy at Arab summit

4 besieged Syria towns to be evacuated under deal

Arab leaders meet in Sweimeh on conflicts, 'terror'

No unanimity on Syria ahead of Arab Summit

UN says over 300 civilians killed since start of west Mosul offensive

Disputed Iraqi province votes to fly Kurdish flag

Germany laments Turkey's 'unacceptable' spying

Syria opposition says no peace deal without US role

Turkey sends delegation to UK over electronics ban

UN chief urges Arab leaders to confront Syria war

Carlos the Jackal sentenced to life for Paris bombing

Arab League set to oppose Trump Israel embassy shift

Tributes flood in for anti-apartheid hero Ahmed Kathrada

US vows to never allow 'Israel-bashing' at UN

Netanyahu ban on MP visits to flashpoint holy site challenged