An Iraqi move to form an international bloc regarding the recovery of funds and the extradition of convicts
political Today, 13:49
Baghdad - I know
Today, Monday, the Integrity Commission announced that it has submitted a proposal to hold an international conference in the capital, Baghdad, aimed at forming an international bloc to pressure countries that refrain from cooperating in the field of money recovery and those convicted of corruption cases, while revealing the approximate number of the money sentenced to be recovered.
The head of the commission, Judge Alaa Jawad Al-Saadi, said, in an exclusive interview with Kahramana magazine, which is affiliated with the Integrity Commission, and followed by the Iraqi News Agency (INA), that
"there are many obstacles that hinder the recovery of funds and those convicted of corruption cases from outside Iraq, despite the exceptional work provided by the concerned authorities in Iraq." Chief among them is the Integrity Commission.
Al-Saadi added, "There are objections by the state in which the wanted persons are present in their various characteristics, whether they are (ministers, governors, general managers) and others, despite the issuance of judicial rulings against them by the Iraqi judiciary," noting that
"the content of those objections marketed by the incubating countries The wanted persons have for several reasons, including protecting the wanted person by granting him her nationality or pushing her with political motives to retrieve him.
He pointed out that "there are sometimes objections to technical reasons, such as the lack of laws in that country that allow the extradition of those on its territory to other countries, or the incompleteness of the extradition file according to its point of view, despite the fact that the procedures for the files have been completed by the requesting party."
He noted that "the Commission has worked to find unconventional means in order to succeed in its national efforts to recover money and those convicted in corruption cases, and among those ways is the implementation of the recommendations of the Baghdad International Conference, where it began to develop a plan to implement the outcomes of the conference held in Baghdad (15-16 September 2021), which was Chief among them is finding unconventional means to recover funds in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a number of the authority's departments.
He pointed out that "the commission has begun to work on activating government support on the political and diplomatic sides to follow up on the files of recovering corruption funds smuggled outside Iraq, while the laws of some countries will be discussed and studied in depth in order to seize corruption funds abroad and communicate with the relevant international authorities in order to recover them.".
Al-Saadi stressed, "There is an active movement at all levels, whether regional or international, in order to form an international bloc that pressures countries that refrain from cooperating in the field of money recovery and those convicted of corruption cases," noting that
"the authority submitted a proposal to organize an international conference for bodies and institutions specialized in combating corruption." The financial and administrative center in the capital, Baghdad, in order for the participants in the conference to adopt the Iraq project, which calls for the formation of that international pressure bloc, activating the work in it and implementing it on the ground.
And he added, "We are determined to hold that conference in the capital, Baghdad," noting that
"the task of preparing and coordinating the organization of the conference was referred to a committee composed of a number of competent departments, in coordination with a number of international organizations that sponsor and contribute to it."
And the head of the commission added, "The response to requests for legal assistance related to the inventory of smuggled corruption funds and their recovery to Iraq and the prosecution of those wanted internationally varies from one country to another," noting that
"the level of countries' response to these demands is related to several things, including the extent to which the laws of the country are required to provide assistance or The delivery of international and regional terms and agreements, as well as the level of relations and exchange of interests between them and Iraq, in addition to the level of diplomatic effort expended.
Judge Al-Saadi indicated that "the effective Law No. 30 of 2011, amended, entrusted the recovery department with the task of following up and recovering money and proceeds of corruption smuggled out of Iraq after 2003.
As for the looted funds that belong to the era of the previous regime, it is within the competence of the Fund for the Recovery of Iraq's Funds from Abroad. This is based on Law No. 9 of 2012 as amended.
He pointed out that "the approximate number of smuggled funds and proceeds of corruption, which were determined according to judicial decisions issued by the subject courts (penal courts, courts of first instance), which obligate the fugitive convict to pay the amounts of damage he inflicted on public money or that he unlawfully seized, to the party affected by his act.
The criminal proceeds are called (the money sentenced to be recovered), with an approximate total value of more than one billion and 416 million dollars.
He referred to the "recent success that was achieved in recovering more than $9 million in the case of the convicted (Zina Saud), a former employee of the Baghdad Municipality," praising "the tireless efforts that led, through continuous follow-up, to the recovery of those funds."
Al-Saadi reviewed, "the details of the case, which began in 2009 after the commission revealed that the convict had smuggled money out of Iraq, specifically to the Kingdom of Jordan and the Republic of Lebanon," adding:
"For that, an arrest warrant was issued against her, as the commission succeeded in recovering her so that the Iraqi judiciary issued its decision No. 3626 / c 3 \ 2012 against her on 5 \ 12 \ 2012, which includes the sentence of life imprisonment against her and the confiscation of her movable and immovable funds, amounting to 9 million, 384 thousand and 499 dollars.
He continued, "In the same case, the commission obtained guarantees from the Jordanian side to return the sum of 5 million and 700 thousand dollars, which was smuggled by the convict to the Kingdom," denying "the existence of any legal impediment preventing the organization of an international file to recover corruption funds smuggled abroad, even if the accused is Or the person convicted of smuggling it is inside Iraqi territory.”
He explained, "The Recovery Department, according to its competence specified in Article (10/Seventh) of the Amended Integrity and Illicit Gain Law No. 30 of 2011, is organizing two files, one of which is related to the
- pursuit of the internationally sought in order to recover it, and the other to
pursue corruption funds smuggled abroad."
He stressed, "The formation of international investigative courts is very difficult at the present time,"
attributing this to several reasons, foremost of which is
"the difficulty of reaching the international consensus required for the establishment of these courts, as it is difficult to reach such a consensus at the present time because resorting to international justice in These issues are still not raised, especially since there are many international means for disputes in such cases."