Warrants issued by Kirkuk Court for the arrest of a number of officials in the province on corruption charges involving Project Saqar Kirkuk (or ‘Project Kirkuk Eagle’).
The contract for the project was signed by the former governor of Kirkuk, Najmadin Karim, for whom an arrest order relating to the project had been issued as well in May 2018.
In a statement, the Federal Integrity Commission in Iraq said yesterday (23 June 2020), that the arrest warrants were issued at their request, that they were based on Article 340 of the Iraqi Penal Code, relating to corruption charges involving Project Kirkuk Eagle.
According to the Integrity Commission’s investigation results on the issue, which were submitted to the Court, the officials were involved in imposing electronic devices on car owners, “which is against the orders given by their superiors, as the project is not legitimate [because] the former governor of Kirkuk had signed the contract.”
The Project Kirkuk Eagle was started in 2015, which was meant to give security the ability to monitor cars going in and out of the province at checkpoints, using an electronic device.
Each car owner would have to pay 15,000 Iraqi Dinars (about $12,80) for the device which they had to have in the car at all times. But in the aftermath of the Kurdistan Region’s referendum and the events of 16 October 2017, the project was stopped.
According to the project management, the device would collect a car’s movements and send it to the project’s headquarters.
The project had caused discontent among couriers and car owners in Kirkuk province. Whether is project is legitimate or not, will still have to be determined by the courts.
Earlier this week, arrest warrants were also issued for a number of officials in Kirkuk, among them the head of Kirkuk’s Education Department, Abid Ali Hussein.