Abdel Falah al-Sudani

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Abdel Falah Hassan Hamadi al-Sudani is an Iraqi politician who was the Minister of Trade from May 2006 to May 2009 in the government of Nouri al-Maliki. He previously served as Education Minister in the Iraqi Transitional Government from May 2005 to May 2006.

Background[edit]

Sudani was born in Basra in 1947 and went into exile in Britain in the late 1970s. In 1981 received a doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Wales. He is a member of the Islamic Dawa Party - Iraq Organisation.[1]

Minister[edit]

Sudani was appointed as Education Minister in the Iraqi Transitional Government in May 2005. The following year, following the election of Nouri al-Maliki as Prime Minister, he was moved to Minister of Trade. In June 2006 Australian troops mistakenly shot dead one of his bodyguards, provoking a diplomatic crisis.[2]

Corruption charges[edit]

On 3 May 2009, arrest warrants were issued by the anti-corruption Integrity Commission on eight trade ministry officials, including two of al-Sudani's brothers and the head of the Iraqi Grain Board. The head of the Council of Representatives of Iraq's Integrity Committee, Sabah al-Saedi from the Islamic Virtue Party, called on al-Sudani to resign. al-Saedi said the ministry had become "a remarkable source of corruption and squandering of public funds" [3] When the official arrived to arrest the accused, there was a fifteen-minute gunbattle between Iraqi troops and ministry bodyguards. One suspect was arrested but the other eight managed to escape.[4]

He resigned as Trade Minister on 14 May. At first, the Prime Minister delayed accepting this whilst the parliamentary investigation was on-going. He appeared before the parliamentary committee on 16-17 May, admitting that corruption had taken place and the system had to be changed.[5] Finally, the Prime Minister accepted his resignation on 26 May.[5]

Al-Sudany faced a vote of no confidence on May 27 from the parliament to determine whether he should face criminal charges.[6] Three days later he was arrested at Baghdad airport as he was trying to fly to Dubai.[7] He was interrogated in prison by anti-corruption officials for eight days and then released on bail of 50 million dinars.[8]

In June 2012 he was convicted in absentia and sentenced to seven years in jail for corruption relating to a food import programme.[9]

References[edit]