Iraqi parliament speaker rejects ‘farce’ claims he ‘extorted’ a minister

Iraq’s parliament speaker Salim Al-Jubouri rejected on Monday allegations made by the country’s defense minister. (File photo: Reuters)

Iraq’s parliament speaker rejected on Monday allegations made by the country’s defense minister that he offered the latter bribery to enable illegal contracts.

During a press conference, Salim Al-Jubouri dubbed the claims made against him as “farce,” aimed at thwarting a grilling session of the defence minister himself over a corrupt arms deal at the Iraqi parliament on Monday.

Jubouri, who withdrew from the session, vowed to file a case for defamation against the Defense Minister Khaled Al-Obeidi.

During the grilling session, Obeidi said he received offers by MPs including Jubouri to permit illegal contracts.

Among other MPs accused of corruption were the well-known woman parliamentarian Aliya Nsayi, who is a member of the Reform Front, a breakaway movement from former premier Nouri al-Maliki’s coalition, as well as Haider Al-Mulla, an Iraqi member of parliament and speaker for Al Iraqiah bloc.

Mulla on Monday also rejected Obeidi’s claims and pledged to file a libel case against the defense minister.

Meanwhile, Obeidi wrote on his Twitter account that the MPs were “trying to establish corrupt contracts, including Parliament's Speaker,” demanding “the immediate lifting of immunity of MPs.”

Obeidi, who started work as defense minister on October, said that “some of the issues raised” were before his appointment as minister.”

The ministry has been accused of wasting billions of dollars in public funds and weakening the armed forces to the point where they collapsed in 2014 in the face of ISIS militants. ISIS claimed control over Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul in July 2014.

The Iraqi government ordered to open probe following his claims.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49