Kurdistan prosecutor accuses 11 Iraqi officials of defamation, requests investigation
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region’s public prosecutor on Monday issued a complaint to the Investigative Court in Erbil to take legal measures against 11 Iraqi officials, including leaders of Shia militias and members of the Iraqi Parliament.
According to a copy of the complaint released by local media, the Kurdistan Region’s acting top judge requested an investigation be launched into the leader of Asaib Ahl al-Haq – a branch of the Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia – Qais al-Khazali, controversial Member of Parliament Hanan Fatlawi, as well as other officials who are known to target Kurdistan and Kurds regularly.
Defamation claims were leveled against a list of officials from Turkmen, Shabak, Shia, and Sunni backgrounds. The list includes at least eight Members of Parliament.
The move comes after Iraq’s Rusafa Court in Baghdad on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Vice President Kosrat Rasool for his remarks about Iraqi and Shia armed forces which assailed the Kurdish-held province of Kirkuk last week.
“The Court issued an arrest warrant for [Rasool] on the grounds of his recent comments which described the federal police forces in Kirkuk as occupying forces,” a statement by Judge Abdulstar Bayraqdar, a spokesperson for the Supreme Judicial Council, read.
On Oct. 16, both Iraqi forces and the Shia militia led an incursion into the multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk, which had been under the protection of Peshmerga since mid-2014 after the Iraqi army collapsed and failed to defend the area from the Islamic State (IS).
Since then, tens of thousands of Kurdish families have been fleeing the area in fear of reprisals from the Iraqi security forces.
The same Iraqi court also issued arrest warrants for members of the Independent High Electoral and Referendum Commission (IHERC) for acting against the ruling of Iraq's highest court by holding and overseeing the Sep. 25 vote in the Kurdistan Region.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany