28-09-2021 04:23 AM Jerusalem Timing

Iraq Parliament Lifts Speaker’s Immunity to Probe Graft

Iraq Parliament Lifts Speaker’s Immunity to Probe Graft

Iraq’s parliament on Tuesday voted to lift the immunity of its speaker and two lawmakers to allow for corruption allegations to be investigated.

Iraq's parliament on Tuesday voted to lift the immunity of its speaker and two lawmakers to allow for corruption allegations to be investigated.

Speaker Salim al-Juburi said in a statement that he had agreed to submit the lifting of his own immunity to a parliamentary vote.Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Juburi

A majority of the 237 members in attendance subsequently voted to lift parliamentary immunity for Juburi and two others MPs, Mohammed al-Karbouli and Taleb al-Maamari, a parliamentary official said.

Juburi then testified before a judiciary commission in response to corruption allegations Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi made publicly earlier this month, judiciary spokesman Abdelsattar Bayraqdar said in a statement.

Juburi has denied the accusations against him, which Obeidi made while appearing in parliament to answer graft allegations he said were brought in retribution for his rejection of corruption.

The accusations against Juburi and the lawmakers are just the latest problems in a tumultuous year for the Iraqi legislature.

Parliament was deadlocked for weeks over Abadi's efforts to replace the cabinet.

At one point it had two rival claimants to the speakership, and was stormed by angry protesters, among other incidents.

The latest turmoil in parliament comes as Iraqi forces conduct operations to set the stage for an assault on Mosul, which has been held by ISIL Takfiris since June 2014.