A look into the Integrity commission report of 2008
The 2008 report of the Iraqi integrity commission, the governmental anti-corruption watchdog body, said that corruption cases totaling $1.3 billion were pardoned, and most of it came from the Iraqi ministry of defense.
The $1.3 billion is the value of only 11% of the corruption cases that were pardoned in 2008 – the others didn’t have a dollar value given – and the number of defendants involved in corruption cases who were pardoned in 2008 is 2,772 defendants.
The pardon law was passed by the parliament in 2008 as part of the reconciliation effort and was described as an important step towards reconciliation. Thousands of detainees were released from prisons as a result for the general pardon law.
The report also showed that the number of convicted in corruption cases from 2004 to 2008 was only 397, including five former Cabinet ministers. The highest numbers of convicts were from Ministries of Interior, Finance and Defense, respectively.
The most interesting part was the number of corruption cases that were not allowed to be investigated by not giving the consent the highest authority in the relative ministry where the corruption case occurred.
According to article 136/B of the Iraqi penal code, the highest authority in the relative ministry can stop sending a defendant to the court by not giving consent to the procedure.
Number of defendants whom their ministers or other highest authorities refused to send them to courts throughout the past years was 210, and the highest number came from the Ministry of Oil.
Among the 210 defendants were two Cabinet ministers and several cases’ value was more than $1 million. In one case, the corruption was more the $6 million.
The integrity commission has complained for years that this article of the Iraqi penal code is crippling the efforts to counter corruption.
The report showed part of the effort to counter corruption among governmental employees and, despite that effort, corruption rates are still high, according to international reports and what we see on a daily basis in different governmental departments.
Transparency International's report of 2008 describes Iraq as the third most corrupt country out of 180 nations, outranked only by Somalia and Burma.
Corruption was described many times by Iraqi officials as no less dangerous than terrorism.
The Iraqi integrity commission report also showed the status of the financial disclosure for Iraqi officials. Iraqi officials are required by law to submit their financial disclosures.
Financial Disclosure Index (2005 till 2008):
Iraqi President: None
The two Iraqi Vice Presidents: None
Iraqi Prime Minister: None
The two deputies of the Prime Ministers: None!
The Speaker of the Parliament: None
The First deputy of the Speaker: Only once in 2006
The Second deputy of the Speaker: None
The Iraqi Minister of Interior: None
(His ministry was number one in the number of convicted in corruption cases)
The Iraqi Minister of Defense: None
(His Ministry was number one in the amount of pardoned money; more than $900 million)
The Iraqi Minister of Finance: None
The Iraqi Minister of Oil: Twice (2008 and 2007)
(His ministry was number one in blocking procedures in corruption cases)
The Iraqi Minister of Planning: None
The Governor of the Iraqi Central Bank: None
(Also No Comment)
And to end with:
None of the members of the parliament presented their financial disclosure in 2008 and only 14 out of 275 did in 2007.