Interpol Issues Red Notice for Arrest of Tareq al-Hashemi, Iraq’s First Veep

You might remember that a day after our final troops pullout from Iraq, its Shiite-led government had issued an arrest warrant for its Sunni vice-president, Tariq al-Hashemi.

Al Arabiya reported in December that the VP, one of Iraq’s leading Sunni Muslim politicians, fled Baghdad for the Kurdish zone “to avoid prosecution at the hands of the Shiite-led central government on charges of running death squads.”

Thereafter, Kurdish regional President Masoud Barzani said in a speech to his KDP political party that, “Kurdistan will not hand over Hashemi because Kurdish ethics do not allow us to do that.”

So then, Mr. Hashemi was holed in the Kurdish controlled zone until this April when he traveled to Qatar.  Of course, Iraq demanded that Qatar hand over its fugitive Vice-President after he began what the emirate described as an “official visit”.

Mr. Hashemi who is now in Turkey has denied his alleged involvement in the murder of six judges and other officials. EuroNews quoted him as saying that the charges are politically motivated and he refused to stand trial in Baghdad.  Al Arabiya reported that he refused to return to Baghdad to face charges because he says the courts are biased. Mr. Hashimi, has, however offered to stand trial in Kirkuk where Kurds and his fellow Sunni Arabs hold sway.

According to Reuters, on May 8, the Interpol called for the arrest of fugitive Iraqi veep at the request of Iraqi authorities.

Here is part of the presser from Interpol:

LYON, France – At the request of Iraqi authorities, INTERPOL has published a Red Notice for Iraq’s Vice-President, Tariq Al-Hashemi, on suspicion of guiding and financing terrorist attacks in the country.The Red Notice for Al-Hashemi represents a regional an international alert to all of INTERPOL’s 190 member countries to seek their help in locating and and arresting him, following the issue of a national arrest warrant by Iraq’s Judicial Investigative Authority as part of an investigation in which security forces seized bombing materials and arrested individuals.
The publication of the INTERPOL Red Notice for Tariq Al-Hashemi will see INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support unit and the Command and Coordination Centre at its General Secretariat headquarters closely liaise with its National Central Bureaus in the region and worldwide to pool and update all relevant intelligence.

Here is the Red Notice:

Interpol Red Notice, May 8, 2012

The original Red Notice is here.

One more installment in our democracy project in Iraq.

Domani Spero