Iraqi Govt Panel: VP Ran ‘Death Squads’ for Years

'At Least 150' Cases of Attacks by VP or Employees

An Iraqi government judicial panel has claimed there is evidence to support the allegations by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki against Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, saying he and his employees ran a death squads out of his office “for years.”

Maliki signed out an arrest warrant in mid-December, charging his Vice President with “terrorism.” Hashemi has denied the charges and fled to Iraqi Kurdistan, saying he didn’t believe he’d get a fair trial in Baghdad’s Shi’ite dominated court system.

The panel today did not provide evidence to back its findings, which are non-binding, but spokesman Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar said there were at least 150 cases of attacks by the VP’s death squads, including several major bombing attacks and assassinations of political rivals.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has so far declined to turn over the vice president, but has suggested that it would if the Maliki government were willing to make concessions and to hold the trial outside of Baghdad.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.