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 Iraq's Sunni VP Hashemi says charges against him politically motivated

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Iraq's Sunni VP Hashemi says charges against him politically motivated  20.2.2012 

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Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi has rejected allegations that he ran death squads. Al-Hashemi has been hiding in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region since December 2011. Photo: AP See Related Links
February 20, 2012

SULAIMANIYAH, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', —  Iraq’s Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi on Monday accused the government of converting cases filed against an unknown person to charge him, considering the accusations as part of an electoral campaign.

Tareq al-Hashemi vigorously defended himself during a half-hour speech Monday against charges that he said were based on coerced statements against him.

“My case became a public opinion and a case for all Iraqis,” he said, underlining that he is facing trumped-up charges.

He called on the court to uncover the investigation of Judge Nejm Talabani, noting that his work to fight corruption in the country was the main reason to destroy his political reputation.

The Shiite-led government issued a warrant for al-Hashemi's arrest in December on charges that he paid his bodyguards to kill security officials and workers in Iraq's health and foreign ministries.

A judicial panel last week concluded that al-Hashemi was behind at least 150 attacks since 2005.

Al-Hashemi was speaking from the Erbil,
www.ekurd.net the capital city of semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in Iraq's north, where he has sought haven from arrest..

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