Parliament has been examining allegations of corruption in arms deals
conducted by the Defense Ministry over the last three years. The probe was
said to have focused on the ministry's plans to purchase the U.S.-origin
F-16 multi-role fighter.
"The commission will also examine some of the issues pertaining the
Defense Ministry about the death of persons in mysterious circumstances,"
parliament's Integrity Committee said. "The Integrity Committee is
determined to bring those involved in corruption to the Iraqi judiciary even
if they were at high levels in the state."
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On April 7, the Integrity Committee said it acquired evidence of
corruption in the F-16 project. In January, the Iraqi Cabinet approved
a deal to purchase 18 F-16 Block 52+ aircraft, a decision rescinded by Prime
Minister Nouri Al Maliki.
Committee member Aliya Nassif said the Defense Ministry was cooperating
in the investigation. Nassif said the ministry's inspector-general as well
as the Office of Financial Supervision were examining the F-16 and other
military procurement projects.
"The Integrity Committee in the parliament put a timetable to open the
files of the Iraqi ministries to investigate the administrative and
financial corruption, and all ministries were placed within the table,
without exception," Nassif said.
The committee said it examined more than 9,000 documents regarding
government corruption. The cases included reconstruction, aircraft
procurement and the acquisition of equipment meant to detect improvised