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Iraq VP Tariq al-Hashemi rejects guilty verdict

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Image:Tariq al-Hashem

Fugitive Iraqi Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi has rejected a guilty verdict and death sentence passed on him in absentia as "politically motivated".

In remarks at a press conference in neighbouring Turkey, he launched a stinging attack on the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

On Sunday, an Iraqi court found Mr Hashemi guilty of running death squads.

Mr Hashemi was the most senior Sunni Muslim politician in Iraq and his case has sparked a political crisis.

Mr Hashemi insisted he was innocent of the charges and said he would continue to serve his country.

He described the verdict as a "medal on my chest".

He went on to accuse Mr Maliki's predominantly Shia-led government of "pushing for" increased sectarian strife and urged his supporters to show a "high standard of self-discipline".

The political crisis around Mr Hashemi's case has coincided with a sharp upswing in violence in Iraq.

In a thinly veiled reference to Iran, he also complained of the "growing influence of neighbouring countries in our internal affairs".

Article Credit:BBC  News 

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Updated 7 Years ago

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