Former Iraqi PM Maliki accused of causing fall of Mosul

Former Iraqi prime minister may stand trial after Iraqi parliament endorses report accusing him of responsibility for fall of country's second largest city to ISIS

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The Iraqi parliament on Monday endorsed a report to the judiciary calling for trying former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki alongside scores of his top officials for alleged responsibility for the fall of the northern city of Mosul to ISIS last year, lawmakers said.

Mahmoud al-Hassan, the parliament's legal panel chief, said, "We voted to send the Mosul report to the judiciary. The judiciary now has the final say."

Lawmaker Mohamed al-Karbouli said that the vote was passed by a majority.

Karbouli said the report is now due to go to the public prosecutor and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who has the right to refer officers for court martial.

The panel’s record is the most vehement step yet taken by Baghdad to provide accountability for the loss of a third of the country to ISIS. According to the report, Maliki is responsible for Mosul's fall, since he chose corrupt commanders who did not give him an accurate picture of the threat posed by ISIS and he failed to hold them accountable.    

Former PM Maliki has accused unnamed countries, commanders and rival politicians of plotting the city's fall to ISIS, but there has been no official accounting for how the northern city was lost, or even who gave the order to abandon the fight.

Atheel al-Nujaifi, former governor of Niveneh Province of which Mosul in the captial; former acting defence minister Sadoun al-Dulaimi; former army chief General Babakir Zebari; and Lieutenant General Mahdi al-Gharawi, former operational commander of Nineveh Province, were allegedly responsible for the fall of the city according to the report's findings.

Others accused include Nineveh police commander Major General Khalid Hamdani, former Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Assadi, former army intelligence chief Lieutenant General Hatam al-Magsousi and three other Kurdish members of the Iraqi security forces.

Current Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced new measures to crackdown on corruption and improve state finances, including axing certain government posts, such as the positions of vice president and deputy prime minister.

Abadi’s announcement of a crackdown on corruption comes after weeks of demonstrations in Iraq's capital Baghdad and southern cities against corruption.

At present, Iraq has three vice presidents, two of whom are Shiites and one Sunni. The country likewise has three deputy prime ministers - a Shiite, a Sunni and a Kurd.

Iraqi air and ground forces alongside Iranian backed Hashd Shaabi (People’s Mobilization Forces) fighters are fighting ISIS in cooperation with US-led coalition air strikes.

ISIS' seizure of Mosul - Iraq's second largest city - in June 2014 as it swept across the Syrian border and declared a modern "caliphate," exposed the failings of a governing system defined largely by ethno-sectarian party patronage.

A year into his prime ministership, Abadi is seeking to transform a system he complained has spawned corruption and incompetence and which has deprived Iraqis of basic services while undermining government forces in the battle against ISIS fighters.

The ISIS militants captured Ramadi in May, the main centre of Anbar Province, which is strategically located near Baghdad and makes it easier for the militant group to dominate a huge area between Mosul and northeast Syria.

More than 10,000 ISIS militants have been killed since the US-led international air campaign began attacking ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria nine months ago.

TRTWorld and agencies