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Elements from al-Iraqiya have abandoned me – Al-Hashemi - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat – Speaking exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat, fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi said that the Special Criminal Court’s decision to convict him of charges of running death-squads and sentence him to death was “not unanimous” adding “only one judge demonstrated self-respect and protected his reputation by objecting to the ruling issued against me”. The Vice President stressed his innocence and dubbed the judiciary’s ruling as “unjust” and “invalid”. He said “this is an unjust ruling because the judiciary prevented me from exercising my civil rights which are granted by the law and constitution, whilst the ruling is invalid because the court that issued it is not the competent authority to consider this case according to Article 93 of the constitution, which specifies the Federal Supreme Court.”

He added “this is also invalid because the constitution prohibits the formation of special courts according to Article 95, whilst the Central Criminal Court is a special court that was formed by the order of civil administrator Paul Bremer in 2003 and this was revoked by the constitution…therefore what is issued from an invalid [source] is invalid.”

As for whether he intends to challenge this ruling, al-Hashemi said “a verdict in absentia is temporal in the sense that it is not a final decision and remains suspended until the defendant appears before the court, which means that it is not subject to challenge at this time.”

He added “I am studying this issue from different legal standpoints, but I am hoping for President [Jalal Talabani] to intervene and oblige everybody, particularly the judicial authority, to respect the constitution and act in accordance to this. I am also waiting for the United Nations [UN] and its special agencies, as well as regional and international parliaments, to respond to my request to monitor my case and guarantee me justice regarding my country’s judiciary that has deprived me of my legitimate right for a fair trial.”

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat during a telephone interview from Istanbul about his prospects of returning to Baghdad or the Kurdistan Region, Iraq’s fugitive Vice President said “this is no longer legally possible following the rejection of my requests to transfer the case combined with the discrimination against me, and this is something that has not happened in the history of the Iraqi judiciary as far as I know. I consider this decision to be biased and illegitimate because it deprived me of my rights.” He added “I would be very happy to return to Kurdistan tomorrow, and I will not forget Kurdistan’s positions and championing of my case, however my presence there was a major source of embarrassment for them, and I do not want my case or presence to be a burden on anybody.”

The Iraqi Vice President also revealed that “communications between myself and President Jalal Talabani has been served, and the reason for this is well known.”

He also informed Asharq Al-Awsat that “the brave cadres of the Iraqiya bloc contact me…and they have my thanks and prayers, whilst others – including leaders – have disappeared, perhaps trying to save themselves, although this is something that will not be achieved by abandoning me and my case” adding “they are dreaming.”

Al-Hashemi described the position adopted by the Iraqiya bloc and its leadership as “weak” adding “this is inconsistent with the project adopted by the Iraqiya bloc, and people are right to be angry.”

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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