28 May 2009

Iraq cracks down on corrupt officials

8:36 am on 28 May 2009

Iraq has launched a campaign to arrest almost 1000 officials for corruption.

The Government made the announcement on Wednesday after the Trade Minister resigned amid claims family members made millions in kickbacks from sugar purchases.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki says his Government will not keep silent about corruption "after this day."

The Iraqi Integrity Commission says it issued 387 arrest warrants in April alone, including 51 for officials who rank as department heads.

The commission still has 997 arrest warrants it has not enacted and the Prime Minister has instructed the security forces to launch a campaign to arrest all of those.

Endemic graft is seen as a significant threat to Iraq's progress and stability as it begins to emerge from the years of bloodshed unleashed by the 2003 US-led invasion.