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Former Iraq anti-corruption chief claims Iraqi government undermining efforts

[JURIST] Iraqi judge Rahdi Hamza al-Radhi, the former head of Iraq's Commission for Public Integrity (CPI) [US State Dept. backgrounder], has accused [statement, PDF] Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government of protecting corrupt employees and of actively attempting to "eradicate or control the Commission." During a US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform [official website] Thursday hearing to assess the state of Iraqi Corruption [hearing materials], al-Radhi also said al-Maliki has "refused to recognize the independence of the Commission on Public Integrity" in violation of the Iraqi Constitution and has actively interfered with the CPI's efforts to investigate the presidency, the council of ministries, as well as former and current ministers.

In September, al-Radhi resigned from the CPI while on official business in the United States, citing the increase in death threats against him and his family, though there have also been corruption allegations against al-Radhi [JURIST report]. The CPI was established [press release] in 2004 and has the power to investigate complaints, refer criminal violations to the courts, and propose legislation to address corruption. In April, a US auditor's report [PDF text; JURIST report] found that efforts to combat widespread corruption in Iraq [JURIST news archive] were hindered by security problems and by al-Maliki's reinstatement of a Saddam-era criminal procedure code [PDF text] provision allowing ministers to block corruption investigations of their own departments. McClatchy Newspapers has more.

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