Former Iraqi industry minister summoned over corruption charges

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Iraq's Federal Commission of Integrity on Thursday announced the issuance of a summoning order against the former Minister of Industry and Minerals, Saleh al-Jubouri, and his former office director for allegedly causing deliberate harm to public funds amounting to 6.5 billion Iraqi dinars.

The order, according to an official statement, was issued in accordance with Article 331 of the Iraqi Penal Code for approving illegal cement sales.

The Commission's investigation department cited several irregularities in the deal.

"The minister approved selling large quantities of cement to medical equipment companies and fake offices at a subsidized price. The marketing, sales, and price discount management is prerogative of the company's board of directors, and the minister or his office director are not authorized to issue directives or orders in this regard," the statement said.

The official price of cement is 65,000 dinars per ton, while the minister approved the ton sale for 60,000 dinars. This move resulted in the loss of over 6.5 billion dinars in the first batch of 1.3 million tons sold.

According to a source in the commission, Saleh al-Jubouri was appointed during the government of Adel Abdul-Mahdi, which was formed following the 2018 parliamentary elections. However, the government faced massive popular protests that ultimately led to the resignation of its prime minister after a year in office.

In 2022, an Iraqi blogger, Ali Fadhel, posted leaked footage of Saleh al-Jubouri, pledging allegiance to Sunni lawmaker Ahmed al-Jubouri, shortly after taking the oath as the minister of industry. The footage showed Saleh al-Jubouri placing his hand on the Quran and swearing to make all his decisions and orders according to Ahmed al-Jubouri's wishes.

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