Baghdad-Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has expressed surprise at the speed with which the case of corruption against Speaker Salim al-Jabouri has been closed.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Abadi said: “I cannot comment on the judiciary, but as a citizen I was surprised by the speedy decision.”
Abadi was referring to the speedy procedures that led to closing the case brought by Minster of Defense Khalid al-Obeidi in which he said he was blackmailed by Jabouri.
Yet, Abadi himself admitted that the timing was not ideal, and that he would have preferred postponing the investigation until after Mosul, the ISIS stronghold, has been retaken.
Earlier, Obeidi accused Jabouri and several lawmakers of involvement in corruption and blackmail which prompted an investigation from the prime minister. Jabouri then called for lifting off his parliamentary immunity.
Jabouri appeared before a commission which announced 40 minutes later that it was closing the case for lack of evidence and was exonerating him.
During Monday’s parliamentary session, Obeidi directly accused Jabouri of corruption.
Of the main charges against Jabouri is his attempt to gain an over a billion dollar contract for food supplies for the Iraqi Army.
Jabouri soon responded to the allegations saying that separation of powers should be respected.
“Officials in the executive (authority) must look after their own duties and not interfere with the affairs… of the judiciary and the legislature,” a statement from his office quoted him as saying.
The Speaker said he was surprised that Abadi would interfere in the matter of the judiciary and express his opinion in a case that has legal procedures.