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Iraqi Judiciary Imposes Travel Ban on Parliament Speaker | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraqi parliament speaker Salim al-Jabouri, center, speaks to reporters during a news conference in Baghdad, Iraq, April 13, 2016 (AP)

Baghdad – An Iraqi investigative judiciary commission imposed a travel ban on the speaker of parliament, two lawmakers and several other people in connection with corruption allegations.

A Judiciary spokesman, Abdelsattar Bayraqdar, said on Thursday that the investigative judiciary committee was formed by Iraq’s Judicial Council to look into claims submitted by Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi about corruption and blackmail committed by the speaker and other Iraqi officials.

Bayraqdar said, during a news conference, that the committee has decided to impose a temporary travel ban against those under investigation.

The defense minister told parliament on Monday that Speaker Salim al-Jabouri and several lawmakers were corrupt and had sought to blackmail him.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi ordered a “temporary travel ban” against those under investigation, but Jabouri rejected it, saying only the judiciary had the authority to impose such measures.

After hearing Obeidi’s testimony, the investigative judiciary commission decided to impose a travel ban on the speaker, in addition to lawmakers Mohammed al-Karbouli and Taleb al-Maamari, the spokesman said.

He added that four other people were also barred from travel, including a former member of parliament.

The commission, which is investigating the corruption allegations, will also hear testimony from current and former officials, Bayraqdar said.

Juburi has denied the accusations against him, which Obeidi first made on Monday while appearing in parliament to answer allegations he said were brought in retribution for his rejection of corruption.

For his part, the Iraqi prime minister stressed the importance of cooperation between the country’s relevant institutions in order to reach the truth regarding the corruption allegations.

In a statement, Abadi said that the defense minister’s allegations against parliament speaker were dangerous statements that could threaten homeland security.