Iraq court bans parliament speaker from traveling after corruption claims

The travel ban also includes six others. The charges of corruption were made at a closed parliament session by the defense minister

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Iraq’s Supreme Court has decided on Thursday to issue a travel ban for the country’s parliament speaker and six other officials after the defense minister claimed their involvement in corruption, the local Al-Sumaria News website reported.

The decision, dubbed as a “precautionary measure as per the law” by the court’s spokesman Abdulsatar Birqdar, comes after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Monday ordered an investigation into allegations of corruption in weapons deals that risks re-igniting a political crisis ahead of planned military moves to retake Mosul from ISIS.

Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri denied charges of corruption made at a closed parliament session by Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi that was broadcast late Monday on state television.

Obeidi told the session that Jabouri and other MPs he identified had lobbied on different occasions on behalf of companies or businessmen seeking contracts to sell planes, Hummer all-terrain vehicles, civilian cars or foodstuff to the army, or to appoint soldiers, officers and personnel at the ministry.

Meanwhile, Birqdar said the court will “listen to witness accounts,” describing the six mentioned by Obeidi as current and former officials.

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