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Iraqi panel wants Maliki to ‘face court over fall of Mosul’ to IS group

AFP archive | A handout picture released by the Iraqi prime minister's office shows Iraqi Premier Nuri al-Maliki (L) speaking with Iraqi chief of staff Abu Baker Zebari during a conference in Baghdad on December 16, 2012

An Iraqi parliamentary panel called Sunday for dozens of security and political officials, including former prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, to be indicted in connection with the fall of the northern city of Mosul to Islamic State (IS) group.

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The indictment of Maliki, who remains a powerful figure in Iraq’s complex political landscape, and other senior officials comes a week after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi launched a sweeping campaign to combat corruption and mismanagement that he argued had made the country nearly impossible to govern.

In the panel’s report, seen by Reuters and confirmed as accurate by three of its members, the committee also placed responsibility for the June 2014 defeat with former Mosul Governor Atheel al-Nujaifi, former acting defence minister Sadoun al-Dulaimi, former army chief General Babakir Zebari and Lieutenant General Mahdi al-Gharrawi, former operational commander of Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the capital.

Others accused include Nineveh police commander Major General Khalid Hamdani and former Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Assadi.

"No one is above the law"

There has been no official accounting of how Mosul was lost, and who gave the order to abandon the fight. The fall of the city - Iraq’s second-largest - was a turning point in Islamic State’s seizure of large swathes of the country’s north and west in a sweep across the Syrian border last year.

An investigation by Reuters in October showed how troop shortages in Mosul and infighting among top officers and Iraqi political leaders played into Islamic State’s hands and fuelled panic that led to the city’s abandonment. Maliki has accused unnamed countries, commanders and rival politicians of plotting the fall of Mosul.
The parliamentary report was approved by 16 of the panel’s 24 members, lawmaker Muhsin Sadoun said.

Panel member Mohammed al-Karabouli said parliament would vote on the report’s findings on Monday and then refer it to Abadi, the prosecutor general and the integrity commission.

"No one is above the law and accountability to the people," said Parliament Speaker Saleem al-Jabouri in a statement upon receiving the report. "The judiciary will punish perpetrators and delinquents."

(REUTERS)
 

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