Entries in Tariq al-Hashimi (3)


Murder Trial of Iraqi VP Starts Without Him

Hemera/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- The Iraqi government Tuesday began the trial of Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who is accused of running death squads that have allegedly killed dozens of Shiite officials.

Al-Hashemi, on the lam since being indicted last December, is believed to have taken refuge in Turkey for medical treatment.

Despite his absence, prosecutors called former bodyguards of the country's highest-ranking Sunni leader to the witness stand to deliver testimony against their old boss.

Some of the witness accused al-Hashemi of ordering the murders of up to 150 people. 

Former bodyguard Ahmed Shawqi told the court that the Iraqi vice president "asked me to plant a car bomb near Buratha mosque, and I carried out the operation."

Al-Hashemi and his Sunni supporters maintain the charges are politically motivated and are an attempt by Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to consolidate power as he tries to marginalize Sunnis and Kurds.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio´╗┐


Iraqi Vice President Claims Bodyguards Tortured to Death

SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images(BAGHDAD) -- Iraq's fugitive vice president is making explosive claims that two of his bodyguards were tortured to death by government security forces in late March, allegedly making it three that have been killed during the past month.

These latest accusations from Tariq al-Hashemi, the highest ranking Sunni in Iraq, were steadfastly denied by Baghdad on Wednesday, which has sought to arrest him since last December for allegedly financing death squads.

Al-Hashemi, who has managed to elude capture for four months by spending most of his time in Iraq's semiautonomous northern Kurdish region, is currently in Turkey.

Meanwhile, his website posted a claim that two bodyguards, identified only as AH and AA, died at the hands of security forces through "severe torture" while being interrogated shortly before the Arab League summit that took place in Baghdad on March 26.

Al-Hashemi has also alleged that bodyguard Amir Sarbut Zaidan al-Batawi died in detention on March 15 although Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council said his death was caused by kidney failure.

All three guards were previously shown on Iraqi state TV confessing to bombing Shiite convoys at al-Hashemi's direction.´╗┐

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Iraqi Sunni Vice President Accused of Ordering Assassinations

ALI AL-SAADI/AFP/Getty Images(BAGHDAD) -- Post-U.S. occupied Iraq is already undergoing its first major governmental crisis.

Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi is facing an arrest warrant after being charged with overseeing a death squad that has allegedly assassinated government and security officials.

The Shiite leaders of Iraq said the accusations against al-Hashimi are based on the confessions of three men claiming to have worked for the vice president as bodyguards.

Their "confessions" broadcast on state-run TV allege they both planted and set off bombs in public squares as well as firing on convoys carrying Shiite officials.

One of the men claiming to work for al-Hashimi said he personally received $3,000 from his boss after carrying out an assassination.

Al-Hashimi's office has denied all the charges despite acknowledging that the men worked for him.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio