Iraq Interior ministry says VP may try to flee

Iraq VP Tareq al-Hashemi, a member of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc, has been accused of running a death squad.

Baghdad: The Iraqi interior ministry on Sunday
asked Kurdish authorities to arrest fugitive Sunni Vice
President Tareq al-Hashemi saying he was planning to flee the

Hashemi, a member of the secular Sunni-backed Iraqiya
bloc, has been accused by Baghdad of running a death squad. He
fled to the autonomous Kurdistan region in December, but
authorities there have so far declined to hand him over.

"The (Iraqi) interior ministry requested that the interior
ministry of the Kurdistan regional government carry out the
arrest warrant issued against him and hand him over to
judicial authorities," a statement said.

The ministry has reliable information that Hashemi intends
"to flee from the (Kurdistan) region to outside Iraq," it

The December accusations against the vice president came
amid a wider row between Iraqiya and the Shiite-led

Iraqiya began a boycott of parliament and the cabinet in
December to protest against what it charged was Prime Minister
Nuri al-Maliki`s centralisation of power, and called for
Maliki to respect a power-sharing deal or quit.

But the bloc`s members have since returned to parliament
and the cabinet, as the dispute between Iraqiya and the
government has cooled off.


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