Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat- Iraqi MP Mithal al-Alusi yesterday accused Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi of “supporting terrorism” by helping former Iraqi Culture Minister Assad al-Hashemi to flee the country. Assad al-Hashemi was accused, and later convicted in absentia, of ordering the deaths of al-Alusi’s two sons.
During a press conference in Baghdad, al-Alusi said that “the Vice President is accused of supporting terrorism and terrorists and sheltering them from justice and the judiciary, and this is a violation of the constitution, the laws, values, and norms, and has resulted in a lot of bloodshed.” Al-Alusi – who seemed tired after returning from a court hearing regarding the case of his two murdered sons – said “I accuse al-Hashimi, and I ask the Prime Minister, the Iraqi judiciary, and the security ministers, to give their testimony on how he smuggled Assad al-Hashemi [out of the country].” Al-Alusi accused al-Hashimi of providing “clear protection to terrorists.” Former Iraqi Culture Minister Assad al-Hashemi was convicted of ordering the deaths of al-Alusi’s two sons, Ayman, 29, and Jamal, 24, who were killed in February 2005.
Mithal al-Alusi, who heads the Democratic Party of the Iraqi Nation, addressed Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki directly, saying “it is up to you to give evidence and ensure justice is carried out.” Answering a question about this evidence, al-Alusi said “if the Prime Minister and the Ministers and the intelligence and security services and the judiciary do not have this evidence, [then] what is evidence?” As for the reason behind the timing of this accusation, namely these accusations being made during an election campaign, he said “the goal of this is for the [Iraqi] citizen to learn from this.” Al-Alusi’s electoral campaign got underway on Friday, and his Democratic Party of the Iraqi Nation is an independent list.
In response to a question by Asharq Al-Awsat on the parties that he intends to file lawsuits against, al-Alusi said “the family lawyer and the Democratic Party of the Iraqi Nation have proceeded to file criminal charges against Tariq al-Hashimi, accusing him of sheltering a terrorist and dangerous criminal (i.e. Assad al-Hashemi) who arrests warrants had been issued against, and who has been convicted [in absentia] and sentenced to death by the Iraqi courts.” As for the information that Tariq al-Hashimi is raising a counter-lawsuit against him for defamation, al-Alusi said “I have not heard anything about such a lawsuit, but attempting this [lawsuit] would be an attempt to escape from the facts and an attempt to mislead the Iraqi citizen,”
Al-Alusi’s two sons died in an attack on their car, along with their companion Haidar Habib Hussein, on 8 February 2005. The attack was supposed to have targeted MP Mithal al-Alusi.
The authorities charged Assad al-Hashemi with this crime, but he fled the country and his current whereabouts are unknown. Al-Alusi also accused the Iraqi Accord Front – al-Hashemi’s former party – of covering up for him. After the completion of the investigation, Assad al-Hashemi was convicted in absentia and sentenced to death on 23 August 2009. Two of those who were participated in this attack confessed that Assad al-Hashemi had ordered it, and that their intended target was MP Mithal al-Alusi.