ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), and former Kurdistan Region President, Masoud Barzani on Thursday met with Najmaldin Karim to discuss an arrest warrant issued against the former Kirkuk governor.
According to a readout of the meeting published on Barzani’s official website, the two discussed an arrest warrant issued against Karim earlier in the day.
The Kurdish officials described the decision calling for the former Kirkuk governor’s arrest an “illegal, political” one. Barzani also described Karim as the legitimate governor of Kirkuk.
In a document dated May 22 obtained by Kurdistan 24, the Kirkuk Investigation Court granted permission for the Commission of Integrity to arrest Karim, under the provision of Article 316 of Iraq’s Code of Criminal Procedure.
According to the same document, the commission, using Article 121, ordered the seizure of all of Karim’s properties.
The former governor was forced to flee the city of Kirkuk after the Iraqi federal army, and pro-Iran militias entered the province late last year in response to the Kurdistan Region’s Sep. 25 independence vote.
The readout revealed that the judge who issued the warrant against Karim is the same judge who called for acting Head of Kirkuk Provincial Council (KPC) Ribwar Talabani’s arrest last week.
Both Talabani and Karim were influential Kurdish figures and staunch supporters of the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum.
In another part of the meeting, Barzani and Karim spoke about the situation in the disputed areas outside of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) administration as well as the latest political developments following the May 12 Iraqi parliamentary elections.
Kirkuk, an oil-rich province inhabited by Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen, is at the epicenter of issues between Erbil and Baghdad.
The two also addressed the future of Iraq and exchanged views on the positions of political parties in the Kurdistan Region, the readout said.