Iraq extradites ex-minister convicted of multiple corruption charges from Lebanon

The Iraqi federal government on Thursday took into custody former Trade Minister Abdul Falah al-Sudani, convicted in multiple corruption cases after he was extradited from Lebanon, Iraq’s Commission of Integrity announced in a statement.
author_image Sangar Ali

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi federal government on Thursday took into custody former Trade Minister Abdul Falah al-Sudani, convicted in multiple corruption cases after he was extradited from Lebanon, Iraq’s Commission of Integrity announced in a statement.

Sudani resigned in 2009 and fled Iraq in connection with corruption allegations in the country’s Oil-for-Food programme, one of the world’s largest.

In a statement on Thursday, Iraq’s corruption watchdog confirmed the return of Sudani to Baghdad after reaching an agreement with the Lebanese government late 2017, allowing for the extradition of the former Iraqi official.

“Former Trade Minister Abdul Falah al-Sudani is now in the custody of the integrity commission,” the statement read.

The Commission mentioned that Interpol contributed to the arrest of Sudani after he arrived in Beirut in September 2017.

The Iraqi fugitive is wanted in at least nine different corruption cases and received eight sentences of imprisonment in absentia for graft charges related to food import violations, the watchdog's statement added.

Al-Sudani, who holds British citizenship, was a member of the Islamic Dawa Party led by former Prime Minister and current Vice-President of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki.

He was born in Iraq’s Basra Province in 1947 and went into exile in Britain in the late 1970s. He received a doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Wales in 1981. He fled Iraq in 2009 after an investigation was launched against him.

Iraq is one of the biggest importers of wheat and rice in the world. Several Trade Ministry officials have faced corruption allegations in the past.

The ministry buys hundreds of thousands of tonnes a year of sugar, lentils, grains and other food products and basic household goods to supply a national ration program.

Editing by Nadia Riva