ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kirkuk’s Acting Governor Rakan Saeed al-Jabouri was released on bail on Thursday after he appeared in a Kirkuk court following an arrest warrant issued earlier in the week based on charges of corruption raised by an Iraqi lawmaker.
According to a member of the Kirkuk Provincial Council (KPC), who spoke to Kurdistan 24 on condition of anonymity, Iraqi lawmaker Delan Ghafour had accused Jabouri of corruption and embezzlement of public money.
Jabouri “was accused…of wasting over one billion IQD in public funds allocated for reconstruction in areas liberated from ISIS,” the KPC member said.
An arrest warrant was issued on June 16 and Jabouri appeared before the court on Thursday.
After a Kurdish judge took his testimony, the acting governor requested that the magistrate handling his case be replaced. The court complied and replaced the Kurdish judge with a Turkmen one who released Jabouri on bail while his case is under investigation.
Over the past few months, KPC members have complained about the decisions Jabouri has made, accusing him of unilaterally deciding on budget expenditure without informing or consulting with the council.
Jabouri, an ethnic Arab, has governed the area since the legitimate Kurdish governor, Najmaldin Karim, was forced to leave his post following an assault on Kirkuk by Iraqi forces and Iran-backed Shia militias.
Since then, the Kurdish community in Kirkuk has suffered countless injustices, particularly being forced to leave their homes with self-proclaimed owners of Arab descent using the same deeds issued during Saddam Hussein’s reign.
Ghafour’s charges against Jabouri come as Kurds, the largest ethnicity in the province and the holders of the absolute majority on the provincial council, have been vocal of what they believe are racially-motivated policies by the acting governor.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany