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Interpol issues arrest warrant for fugitive Iraqi VP

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Iraq's fugitive Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi speaks during a press conference in Istanbul, May 4, 2012.

Interpol has issued an international Red Notice for the arrest of fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi “on suspicion of guiding and financing terrorist attacks.”

“The Red Notice for al-Hashemi represents a regional and international alert to all of Interpol’s 190 member countries to seek their help in locating and arresting him,” the international police agency said on Tuesday, AFP reported.

Hashemi, who is being tried in absentia in a Baghdad court on charges of running a death squad, is currently in Turkey.

Hashemi is accused of ordering attacks and deadly bombings against innocent Iraqi civilians as well as government and security officials over the past years, including a November 2011 car bombing in the capital Baghdad that apparently targeted Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. He and his bodyguards also face accusations of killing six judges.

On December 19, 2011, an investigative committee within the Iraqi Interior Ministry issued an arrest warrant for Hashemi after three of his bodyguards confessed to having taken orders from him to carry out terrorist attacks.

Hashemi later fled to the Kurdistan Region.

Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble said in a statement on Tuesday that the Red Notice serves to limit Hashemi’s “ability to travel and cross international borders.”

“This case also clearly demonstrates the commitment of Iraqi authorities to work with the world police community via Interpol to apprehend individuals facing serious charges,” he added.

This is while on May 4, Hashemi said that he did not trust the standard of justice in Iraq and that he would not return to Baghdad because he believes that charges against him are politically motivated.

A Red Notice is not an internationally binding arrest warrant, but it is a valid request to many of Interpol’s members.


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