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Interpol issues ‘red notice’ for Iraqi VP

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Michael Bastasch Contributor
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The international police organization Interpol issued a “red notice” for the vice president of Iraq, Tariq Al-Hashemi, on Tuesday for his suspected role in guiding and financing terrorist attacks in the country.

CNN reports that Al-Hashemi has been living in Istanbul, in a Turkish government guesthouse, and more recently in Kurdistan. He has also traveled to Saudi Arabia and Qatar at the invitation of their respective governments.

“The Interpol Red Notice against Tariq Al-Hashemi will significantly restrict his ability to travel and cross international borders. It is a powerful tool that will help authorities around the world locate and arrest him,” said Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

Iraq’s top judicial committee accused al-Hashimi’s security detail was accused of carrying out 150 attacks against security forces and civilians from 2005 to 2011. Al-Hashimi is calling the attacks “politically motivated” and denied the charges.

“Everybody knows that my case is a political case, from beginning to end, and that the charges against me are fabricated, and far from the truth,” al-Hashimi said in a statement. “It is now well-known that there are many cases in Iraq, that the provisions were based on confessions extracted under duress.”

According to Interpol, a red notice “represents a regional and international alert to all of Interpol’s 190 member countries to seek their help in locating and arresting him, following the issue of a national arrest warrant by Iraq’s Judicial Investigative Authority as part of an investigation in which security forces seized bombing materials and arrested individuals.”

A red notice is not an international arrest warrant, and Interpol can’t demand that a member nation arrest those implicated in a red notice. Many member nations do, however, consider a red notice to be a valid request for provisional arrest.

Al-Hashimi further alleged that the nine-judge council was under the control of the Shiite-controlled government.

The charges against him are based on the purported confession of three men who were identified as the vice president’s security guards. Iraqi state television aired the confessions in December, but CNN couldn’t independently verify the identities of the men.

Whatever, political implications in Iraq, the head of Interpol sees this as a step in the right direction for the fledgling government.

“This case also clearly demonstrates the commitment of Iraqi authorities to work with the world police community via INTERPOL to apprehend individuals facing serious charges,” added Secretary General Noble.

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