Iraq electoral commission chief arrested for graft

By REUTERS
April 13, 2012 00:37

 
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BAGHDAD - The head of Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) and one of its members were arrested by police on Thursday on corruption charges, IHEC officials said, in the latest apparent move for more government control of independent bodies.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki won a court ruling in January 2011 that put the IHEC and other entities, including the central bank, under cabinet supervision, raising concern over attempts to consolidate power by the Shi'ite premier.

An IHEC official who declined to be named said a judge had issued a court order for police to arrest the head of the IHEC, Faraj al-Haidari, and member Karim al-Tamimi on charges they had given bonuses to some employees of the body.

Haidari confirmed to Reuters by telephone that he and Tamimi had been arrested but denied the graft charges.

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