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Iraq government taking legal action against former anti-corruption chief

[JURIST] The Iraqi government said Sunday it would sue the former head of the country's Commission on Public Integrity (CPI) [DOS backgrounder], Judge Radhi al-Radhi, for smuggling official documents, defaming the prime minister and corruption. In testimony [statement, PDF] Thursday before the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform [official website], al-Radhi accused Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government of shielding corrupt employees and actively attempting to "eradicate or control the Commission." Several of the allegations mirror those cited in a memorandum [PDF text] prepared by the House committee based on interviews with the State Department's Office of Accountability and Transparency last week.

Al-Radhi resigned from the CPI in September while on official business in the United States, citing death threats against him and his family, though there have been previous corruption allegations against al-Radhi himself [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] had been 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. AFP has more.

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