Iraqi court says investigating case against Hoshyar Zebari

An Iraqi court is investigating a case filed against Hoshyar Zebari, the current candidate for the Iraqi presidency, for wasting billions of dinars, according to a communique sent to the federal court.

The second Karkh investigating court sent a communique to the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court on February 1 regarding a case filed against Zebari for wasting billions of dinars when he was the foreign minister between 2005 and 2014.
The court said in the communique signed by Judge Dhya Jaafar that it was investigating a case filed by lawmakers Dilan Ghafour Salih and Ali Turki Jasoumi against Zebari, accused of wasting more than three billion dinars ($2.5 million) when he held the position of foreign minister.
“We would like to inform you that this court is conducting an investigation into the case, which involves the former minister of foreign affairs, Hoshyar Zebari, deliberately causing damage to the funds and interests of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during his work as Foreign Minister,” the communique said.
The court further said Zebari had disbursed “sums of money as rents to a number of guards of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in violation of the law, amounting to 3,771,020,844 dinars, despite the objection of the administrative authorities to the spending”.
The Karkh court added that Zebari had yet to appear in front of the judge to give his testimony.
The court’s communique came after the federal court reviewed names of candidates nominated for the position of Iraqi president last week.
Dozens of Iraqis have been protesting against Zebari’s nomination due to corruption allegations against him.
In 2016, Iraqi parliament sacked Zebari from his post as finance minister over alleged corruptions and misuse of public funds. Zebari denied the accusations.
Zebari, who also served as Iraq’s foreign minister for more than a decade, lost a no-confidence vote by 158 to 77.
On Friday, Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called on lawmakers not to vote for Zebari if he doesn’t meat presidential requirements.
“If the candidate of our ally Kurdistan Democratic Party [KDP] or any other candidate for the position of the Republic’s president doesn’t meet all the requirements, I call on the reform representatives not to vote from him,” Sadr said in a tweet.
“We are advocates of reform, not advocates of authority and rule,” he added.
The Council of Representatives, which re-elected Mohammed al-Halbousi as its speaker, has set February 7 as a date to hold a session to elect a new president for the country.
Also the Sadrist Movement announced on Saturday, February 5, it has suspended negotiations on forming a new government and will not attend the upcoming session of the Iraqi Parliament.
The leader of the movement, Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, announced the boycott in a press conference on Saturday.
All negotiations with other blocs are suspended until an unspecified time and all members of the Sadrist Movement must not attend the session to elect the Iraqi president on Monday, February 7.
A majority of two-thirds, 220 out of 329 MPs, is required to elect the president.
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