Quantcast
Connect with us

Baghdad hit by attacks as VP death squad trial opens

Published

on

Gun and bomb attacks struck the Baghdad area where Iraq’s fugitiveVice President Tareq al-Hashemi was to go on trial in absentia Thursday on charges he says are politically motivated.

Hashemi, the country’s top Sunni official, stands accused along with several of his bodyguards of running a death squad but the vice president will not attend the trial in Baghdad, having left Iraq weeks ago.

ADVERTISEMENT

Hours before the trial was due to open, shootings and bombings erupted in the Harithiyah neighbourhood where the Central Criminal Court of Iraq is situated, albeit not in the immediate vicinity of the court compound.

A shooting at around 8:00 am (0500 GMT) left an Iraqi soldier dead, while at around the same time, three roadside bombs wounded two police bomb disposal experts, an interior ministry official said.

Thursday’s trial is to tackle the “assassination of the general director in the national security ministry, an officer in the interior ministry and a lawyer,” according to judicial spokesman Abdelsattar Bayraqdar.

The charges against Hashemi were first levelled in December after US troops completed their pullout, sparking a political crisis that saw the vice president’s bloc boycott cabinet and parliament over accusations Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was monopolising power.

ADVERTISEMENT

Hashemi and some of his guards were on Monday also charged with killing six judges, as Bayraqdar put the overall number of accusations against the group at about 150.

Bayraqdar, who said further charges could still be filed, did not provide a breakdown of the accusations, or say how many Hashemi himself faces.

ADVERTISEMENT

He said that around 13 of Hashemi’s guards had been released for lack of evidence, leaving some 73 others.

After the charges were filed, the vice president, who insists they are politically-motivated, fled to the autonomous Kurdistan region in north Iraq, whose authorities declined to hand him over to the central government.

They then allowed him to leave on a tour of the region that has taken Hashemi to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and now Turkey.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Democrats could flip the Texas state house in 2020 — and reshape the national map

Published

on

Blue Texas? Democrats have long dreamt of winning Texas’s 38 electoral votes in the presidential election. That may still be a long shot, but a recent “Texodus” from Congress has given new talk to a political transformation across the Lone Star State that could have massive ramifications down the ballot and for decades to come.

This article was originally posted at Salon.

Four of the state’s GOP members of Congress have announced their retirements in recent weeks, an unusual torrent of departures signaling that a storm is coming. And evidence shows that it’s not just hitting Texas’s federal delegation. It’s coming to Austin, too.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there’: Joe Biden at Cape Cod fundraiser

Published

on

Former Vice President Joe Biden defended Republican lawmakers in DC as "decent people" during a campaign fundraiser held at Cape Cod.

"There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there," Biden argued, according to Washington Post reporter Matt Viser.

"I get in trouble for saying that with Democrats, but...every time we ever got in trouble with our administration, remember who got sent up to Capitol Hill to fix it? Me," he said.

”Because they know I respect the other team. I do. They’re decent people," Biden claimed. "They ran because they care about things, but they’re intimidated right now.”

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Neo-Nazi ‘Atomwaffen Division’ holding live-fire militia trainings at ‘The Base’ near Spokane: report

Published

on

One sign of the growing white nationalist crisis in America is a new outreach effort for paramilitary training.

"A neo-Nazi group focused on providing paramilitary-style training to far-right extremists has been conducting a massive recruitment drive and claims to have already conducted live-fire training with its members," Vice News reports.

"The Base, which is connected to extreme-right groups the Atomwaffen Division and the Feuerkrieg Division, has been promoting its growth on social media with photos announcing its presence in major cities across North America, including New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, and in Europe, South Africa, and Australia," Vice reported. "The images often include a small contingent (typically one to three) of masked, camo-clad men holding weapons standing in front of The Base's flag, a black flag with three white lines running down the centre."

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image