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Abdel Falah Hassan Hamadi al-Sudani is an Iraqi politician who was the Minister of Trade from May 2006 to May 2009 in the government of Nouri al-Maliki. He previously served as Education Minister in the Iraqi Transitional Government from May 2005 to May 2006.

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BackgroundEdit

Sudani was born in Basra in 1947 and went into exile in Britain in the late 1970s. In 1981 received a doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Wales. He is a member of the Islamic Dawa Party - Iraq Organisation.[1]

MinisterEdit

Sudani was appointed as Education Minister in the Iraqi Transitional Government in May 2005. The following year, following the election of Nouri al-Maliki as Prime Minister, he was moved to Minister of Trade. In June 2006 Australian troops mistakenly shot dead one of his bodyguards, provoking a diplomatic crisis.[2]

Corruption chargesEdit

On 3 May 2009, arrest warrants were issued by the anti-corruption Integrity Commission on eight trade ministry officials, including two of al-Sudani's brothers and the head of the Iraqi Grain Board. The head of the Council of Representatives of Iraq's Integrity Committee, Sabah al-Saedi from the Islamic Virtue Party, called on al-Sudani to resign. al-Saedi said the ministry had become "a remarkable source of corruption and squandering of public funds" [3] When the official arrived to arrest the accused, there was a fifteen-minute gunbattle between Iraqi troops and ministry bodyguards. One suspect was arrested but the other eight managed to escape.[4]

He resigned as Trade Minister on 14 May. At first, the Prime Minister delayed accepting this whilst the parliamentary investigation was on-going. He appeared before the parliamentary committee on 16–17 May, admitting that corruption had taken place and the system had to be changed.[5] Finally, the Prime Minister accepted his resignation on 26 May.[5]

Al-Sudany faced a vote of no confidence on May 27 from the parliament to determine whether he should face criminal charges.[6] Three days later he was arrested at Baghdad airport as he was trying to fly to Dubai.[7] He was interrogated in prison by anti-corruption officials for eight days and then released on bail of 50 million dinars.[8]

In June 2012 he was convicted in absentia and sentenced to seven years in jail for corruption relating to a food import programme.[9]

In January 2018 he was extradited from Lebanon and handed over to Iraqi authorities after the Interpol assisted in his arrest.[10]

In February 2018, al-Sudani was found guilty by an Iraqi court and sentenced to 21 years in jail on corruption charges.[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Ministers of Iraq, Middle East Reference
  2. ^ Iraqi fury at Australian shooting, The Age, 2006-06-22, accessed on 2009-05-09
  3. ^ Iraq issues warrants for trade chiefs over corruption, Reuters, 2009-05-03
  4. ^ Gunfight Breaks Out as Iraqi Soldiers Try to Arrest Trade Officials, The New York Times, 2009-05-02
  5. ^ a b Iraq trade minister quits amid corruption allegations, Bloomberg L.P. via Sydney Morning Herald, 2009-05-26
  6. ^ Iraq to arrest 1,000 'corrupt' officials, BBC, 2009-05-27
  7. ^ "Dramatic plane arrest of ex-Iraq minister". BBC. 30 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  8. ^ Iraq ex-trade minister freed on bail after graft grilling, Zawya, 2009-06-07
  9. ^ "Iraqi former trade minister gets 7 years in absentia - Xinhua | English.news.cn". news.xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 2015-08-22.
  10. ^ "Iraq receives ex-trade minister convicted on graft charges from Lebano". Reuters. 26 January 2018. Retrieved 2018-02-12.
  11. ^ "Iraq sentences ex-minister to 21 years for corruption". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2018-06-18.