Emir meets Iraqi vice-president
QNA / AFP
BAGHDAD THE Emir His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani met Iraq’s Vice-President Tareq al Hashemi on Monday to discuss “relations between the two brotherly countries and developments in the region,” according to Qatar News Agency.
Hashemi is ‘wanted’ in Iraq and Baghdad has sought his extradition.
He denies the allegations against him, and says they are politically motivated.
“There has not been a judicial decision against me from any court, and the demand does not respect Article 93 of the constitution, which provides me with immunity,” he said in his defence in Doha.
“Why do they demand that Qatar extradite me?... Officials in Kurdistan have responded to a similar request by telling them that I have immunity according to Article 93,” Hashemi said.
He added that he will return to Kurdistan after a “tour around some capitals” which he did not name. Iraq on Monday said that Qatar hosting fugitive Vice- President Tareq al Hashemi was “unacceptable” and called on Doha to hand him over, a demand he said was unconstitutional after talks with Qatar’s Emir.
“The State of Qatar receiving a wanted person is an unacceptable act and Qatar should back off from this stance, and return him to Iraq,” Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al Shahristani told a news conference in Baghdad.
Shahristani said the autonomous region of Kurdistan, where Hashemi had been holed up since charges were issued against him in December, had committed a “clear challenge to law and justice” by allowing him to leave the country.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki told a news conference in Baghdad on Sunday that Hashemi “is wanted in a member country of the Arab League, and he should not be received, especially under the title of vice-president,” when asked about the possibility of Hashemi visiting other Arab states.
The accusations were levelled against him the day after US forces withdrew from Iraq in December 2011, and sparked a festering political row.