The Iraqi Commission of Integrity (COI) has laid corruption charges against 50 ministers and 480 high-ranking officials as well as repaying and preventing the embezzlement of more than 4 trillion Iraqi dinars ($3.3 billion) over the past two years, officials said Tuesday.
According to COI Chairman Mazhar Turki, the commission is based on the principle that corruption should be taken seriously, regardless of its size or the person involved. He also stressed that some anti-corruption laws need to be developed and scrutinized to meet the needs of the country.
In 2019, the commission filed 13,649 corruption charges against 10,000 people, including 50 ministers, as well as 480 high-ranking officials, according to an Iraqi official.
Turki emphasized that the commission has found numerous irregularities in 2,736 projects, adding that officials are currently investigating 644 of them, worth over 5 trillion dinars ($6.5 billion).
In June hundreds of Iraqis rallied outside the security-fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad to protest poor services delivered by government institutions. Protesters chanted slogans for improved electricity distribution and bringing corrupt officials to account, according to an Anadolu Agency (AA) reporter on the ground.
The rally was called by the Community of Karrada People, a civilian gathering that campaigns for the rights of local residents in the area.
“Corrupt People Continue to Steal People’s Livelihood” was among the banners waved by protesters.
“Despite pledges by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, services are getting worse, and corrupt people continue to steal,” Yas al-Najm, a protester, told AA.