Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered an investigation into allegations of corruption revealed by the defense minister who accused politicians, including the parliament speaker, of graft.
Abadi’s move came after the parliament summoned the Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi to response to allegations of graft in his ministry, which led to the waste of billions of dollars in the ministry’s deals and weakening the armed forces.
A statement issued by Abadi’s office said the prime minister called on the Iraqi Commission of Integrity to investigate the accusations by Obeidi “in cooperation with a parliament committee to probe the allegations and no one to be above the law.”
Parliament Speaker Jubouri denied charges of corruption, saying Obeidi’s charges against him and other lawmakers were “a charade in order for the questioning not to be held.”
Following the accusations against him, Jubouri left his position as the speaker to the deputy Aram Sheikh Mohammed and joined the lawmakers.
“I preferred not to continue running the session in order to preserve the neutrality of the questioning process,” Jubouri said in a conference following the session.
Jubouri also said he’s “ready to go to court to answer the accusations of corruption against me,” asserting that “the charges of the defense minister against me are baseless.”