BAGHDAD: The Iraqi Commission of Integrity (ICOI), the highest supervisory authority in Iraq, has denied a report that the country’s three vice presidents were referred to the judiciary on charges of graft.
The state-owned Al-Sabah newspaper quoted the head of the ICOI, Yasser Al-Mussowi, as saying: “We have been able to refer the three vice presidents to the judiciary on charges of graft.”
But the commission on Sunday said Al-Mussowi was misquoted. The Iraqi Supreme Council of the Judiciary also denied the existence of any lawsuits against vice presidents Nouri Al-Maliki, Iyad Allawi and Osama Al-Nujaifi.
Political parties, blocs and figures have called for the newspaper to be sued.
What Al-Sabah published against Al-Maliki “represents a blatant abuse against a prominent national symbol and an Islamic figure,” said the Islamic Dawa Party, which is headed by Al-Maliki.
Kadhim Al-Shimari, head of the National Parliamentary Bloc, said the “fabricated news,” published at a “critical time,” aims “to incite Iraqi people against national figures like Iyad Allawi. This cannot be tolerated and will not pass silently.”
Iraqi journalists and officials expect the ouster of Al-Sabah’s editor in chief, Abbas Aboud. The Iraqi Media Network, which supervises the newspaper, on Sunday suspended the managing editor, the head of the political affairs section and the reporter in question, and referred them for investigation.
“The reporter committed a mistake,” Aboud told Arab News. “I don’t think it was deliberate. We’ve opened an investigation and published an apology (to the vice presidents). We hope they understand that such mistakes occur and are often unintended.”