Former Finance Minister Ali Abdel-Amir: I am a scapegoat for theft of the century, and I will reveal the hidden
Monday 13 March 2023 21:30 | Economical Number of readings: 160
Baghdad / NINA / - Today, Monday, the former Minister of Finance, Ali Abdul-Amir Allawi, described the arrest warrant issued against him as an attempt to make him a "scapegoat,"
indicating that he would reveal what was hidden in the "theft of the century" case. Allawi said in a statement,
"Last week, a series of judicial orders were issued against me, including the seizure of my movable and immovable funds, and an arrest and investigation order, and
these procedures were related to the so-called theft of the century, and the charge against me was specifically" facilitating the seizure of tax secretariat amounts.
"I do not have detailed information on what these accusations are based on, but I have been informed that this information is kept confidential." He added,
“I initially received this news through social media, not from any official source, and
it turned out that the order to seize my money was sent by the Supreme Judicial Council to the Ministry of Finance on February 2, 2023, almost a month before I heard about it on social media.”
The arrest warrant was not delivered to my home in Baghdad or to any other address belonging to me, but it was in the form of a publication on the Integrity Commission's website. He continued:
"In fact, I find these procedures shocking, and question my integrity, my years of service in Iraq, and for the benefit of the Iraqi people, and
I totally and absolutely reject these baseless accusations.
When I assumed the tasks of the Ministry of Finance, our financial conditions were miserable with the treasury drain, the spread of the Corona pandemic and the collapse of oil prices.
We succeeded in overcoming these very difficult challenges,
we paid the risk of debt default,
we were able to guarantee the payment of salaries, and
we started the reform process embodied in the white paper.
At the end of the term of the Prime Minister Al-Kazemi's government, foreign exchange reserves approached $100 billion And
the treasury had a surplus account of more than 25 billion dollars.
We left the new government with very strong financial conditions to supplement the state budget.". He added,
"I worked diligently and sincerely in my position as Minister of Finance to obstruct and expose corrupt practices.
In the Ministry of Finance, I cooperated fully with the Integrity Commission, and did not hesitate to provide them with sensitive files when there were suspicions of corruption on them.
And most importantly, I prevented a contract that would have imposed exorbitant costs." unwarranted amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars on the clients of the largest state bank.
I had launched the automation of customs management by contracting with a United Nations agency for a globally recognized customs automation system.
I was ahead in developing tender requirements for the automation of the tax authority and the tax system, in collaboration With the World Bank.
When fully implemented, this automation would control corruption operations." He continued,
"In my resignation statement dated August 16, 2022, from the position of Minister of Finance, I frankly addressed my concern about the extent of corruption in the country, its threat to Iraq as a state and the damage done to its effectiveness in providing security and prosperity to the Iraqi people throughout the years that have passed.
After I left office, I called I called the Labor Integrity Commission to provide them with information regarding the issues I raised in my resignation statement.
I informed them that I was outside the country and did not hear from them until two months later.
I told them that I was fully prepared to communicate with them and help them,
but again, there was no official answer from them and
separately, I had appeared for three Hours before the Parliamentary Subcommittee to Investigate the Theft of the Century in a TV Link Call.
"I have always acted with honesty and sincerity and have never shirked my responsibility to cooperate fully with the official authorities.
However, such an amazing turn of events has taken place that I am now accused of the very crimes I have spent years exposing and fighting.
These official accusations were preceded by a torrent of leaks against me in Social media.
This was followed by an unprecedented appearance on TV by the investigating judge in the case pointing the finger at me by describing me in detail without actually naming me.
This was before any charges were brought against me, so I can only think that there were serious mistakes In the process of investigation, or I am a scapegoat for a charge of which I am completely innocent intended to cover up the real thieves.
I will never accept these false accusations, and I will fight to show that these accusations are outrageous.
Moreover, I will dedicate the remainder of my life to exposing the ramifications of the robbery of the century, from its planners, perpetrators, accomplices, and beneficiaries to those who systematically covered up this crime and leveled an outrageous charge upon an entirely innocent party, and I will help expose them and bring them to justice.” Allawi continued:
"Under these circumstances, it will be difficult to see how the conditions for a fair trial can be met in Iraq.
The scope, size and complexity of theft of the century and its political dimensions make it necessary to consider forming an international tribunal to investigate the matter.
As a first step, I will soon issue a detailed file." For all the steps and procedures that we have taken in the Ministry of Finance to prevent abuses in the Tax Authority,
I will also respond to the final report of the Parliamentary Subcommittee on theft of the century, especially the items related to my decisions in the Ministry in this regard.
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