World

BAGHDAD (Web Desk) – Iraqi officials announced Sunday the country’s trade minister faces arrest in connection with charges of corruption.


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The BBC reports the statement did not clarify the exact charges facing Milas Mohammed Abdul Kareem, but Iraqi media indicated the allegations were related to the awarding of business contracts linked to his brother, who also faces arrest.

The announcement comes after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in August announced an anti-corruption reform package after nationwide protests over widespread power outages and a heatwave.

The measures called for, among other things, a reduction in government spending, prevention of the appointment of senior officials based on sectarian lines, elimination of the symbolic vice president and deputy prime minister positions, and the re-opening of graft prosecutions against government officials suspected of wrongdoing.

As part of the package, Abadi earlier this month announced public access to the “Green Zone,” a 4-square-mile restricted area in central Baghdad’s Karkh district that was used by the U.S. military and foreign diplomats during the U.S. occupation of the country.

For years many saw the Green Zone as a symbol of disconnect between top officials and ordinary Iraqis.

Kareem and his brother, Nehru, whose Kurdish father is head of the largest Sufi Muslim order in Iraq, have not commented on the allegations, according to the BBC.