Iraq News - Local News - Baghdadpost

Court sentences gov't official to 15 year imprisonment for embezzling $1.2 million

On Tuesday, the Iraq's Federal Integrity Commission announced that an unnamed official formerly working for the Nineveh Provincial Council has been sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison for embezzling 1.5 billion IQD ($1.2 million) in public funds.

The commission's investigation department said in a statement that the convicted person misappropriated 1.5 billion dinars from the funds allocated for the reconstruction and stabilization of Nineveh province after its liberation from the ISIS

“The criminal court concerned with integrity cases in Baghdad after reviewing the evidence obtained in the case represented by the statements of the legal representative of Nineveh governorate who requested the complaint against the accused, and the report of the external audit department in the integrity commission, which included irregularities in the value of exchange and purchase receipts, the accused’s case was referred to the judiciary,” the statement read.

In April, the commission announced that it had formed a high-level investigation team to uncover the fate of the funds that were withdrawn before the dismissal of the former governor of Nineveh and the arrest of a number of officials and employees in the provincial office, with sums exceeding 76 billion IQD.

Iraq has one of the world’s largest oil reserves and is the second-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). However, a large percentage of its citizens suffer from extreme poverty and high unemployment rates, the main factor leading to ongoing protests across the country.

The embattled Middle Eastern nation continues to rank high on Transparency International’s list for corruption, fraud, and mismanagement of state institutions, some of the most significant challenges facing the country since the fall of the former regime in 2003.

According to the organization’s 2019 Corruption Index, Iraq ranks 162nd, the 18th most corrupt country out of a total of 180.