Kurdish Bloc agrees with Iraqiya to discuss VP Hashemi at national conference
BAGHDAD, (AKnews) - The Kurdish Blocs Coalition (KBC) announced today its support for Iraqiya List's call to discuss the issue of Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi at the national conference this Thursday, while the State of Law Coalition (SLC) objected to discussing what it calls a "judicial issue".
Vice chairman of the KBC Mohsen al-Saadoun said: "Hashemi announced ten days ago that he would travel to an Arab country and would return later to Iraq and until no decision was issued from the court that convicts him so he is still the Vice President of the Republic.
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"That's why we want this issue be resolved by this Thursday at the national conference and we don't want more tensed statements about this issue."
The Hashemi's office revealed that he left the Kurdistan Region yesterday for Qatar at the latter's invitation. During the visit he will meet the Prince of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and the Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani.
"The political leaders must resolve Hashemi's issue," added Saadoun.
"If he was accused, he would have been prevented from traveling to the Kurdistan Region in addition to taking all legal action against him in Baghdad."
The President of the Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, announced in the middle of last month that the region would not hand over Hashemi to Baghdad, accusing the central government of trying to involve the Kurds in the issue.
Barzani made a proposal last month to resolve Hashemi's issue politically at the national conference with the three presidencies and Iraqiya List.
The State of Law Coalition (SLC) stated that it rejects discussing Hashemi's issue at the national conference because the issue is judicial, adding that President Jalal Talabani gets to decide if the issue is raised at the meeting. The SLC said that Talabani will not violate the constitution with Hashemi's issue.
KBC's position is compatible with Iraqiya List's stance, which states about the need to discuss all issues at the conference, including Hashemi's issue.
Iraqiya List insists that Hashemi's issue is both political and judicial and that this has been rejected by the parties of the national conference, who said the judiciary gets to decide about Hashemi's issue.
Iraqiya List is not optimistic about the national conference to be held on Thursday and says that previous promises were made, such as on the Erbil agreement, that have yet to be implemented.
List spokesman Haider al-Mulla told AKnews that there is procrastination and delay from the SLC with regard to several other issues concerning the country.
Iraq's Central Criminal Court set May 3 as the date for the first trail session of Hashemi and his secretary and son in law Ahmed Qahtan in absentia with three charges attributed to them. There are also 70 other people in the VP's office wanted by the courts.
The Iraqi Supreme Judiciary Council issued an arrest order for Hashemi on December 19 on terrorism charges after his guards confessed the VP was involved in series of attacks.
The VP, who is a member of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc, believes Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is behind the accusations.
On February 16 the council announced Hashemi's involvement in 150 armed operations that targeted judges, doctors and senior officers in the ministries of defense and interior by using silent weapons and missiles.
By Haider Ibrahim