The ousted Central Bank of Iraq Governor has rejected the charges of corruption and currency manipulation being leveled against him. His supporters see it as a smear campaign designed to give the Maliki government and his Da’wa Party control over central bank funds.

The Iraqi Council of Ministers has appointed the Chairman of the Board of Supreme Audit, ‘Abd al-Basit Turki, as the new Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI), succeeding Sinan al-Shabibi, against whom arrest warrants have been issued on charges of corruption and currency manipulation (MEES, 19 October). Dr Shabibi was abroad at the time of the decision attending International Monetary Fund meetings in Tokyo and has since travelled to Europe. He told reporters that he plans to return to Iraq soon to clear himself of the charges. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s decision was criticized by several political party leaders (including Muqtada al-Sadr, former Vice President ‘Adil ‘Abd al-Mahdi, and Chairman of Parliament’s Energy Committee ‘Adnan al-Janabi) and appears to have come as a surprise to Chief Justice Midhat al-Mahmud, who was not initially informed of the arrest warrants but then acceded to the prime minister’s wishes. (CONTINUED - 1104 WORDS)