News / Middle East

Turkey Refuses to Extradite Fugitive Iraqi VP

Iraq's fugitive Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi gestures as he addresses the media in Ankara, September 10, 2012.
Iraq's fugitive Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi gestures as he addresses the media in Ankara, September 10, 2012.
VOA News
Turkey has refused to hand over fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who faces a death sentence in Baghdad.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday, Hashemi could stay in Turkey as long as he wants and that Ankara will not send him to Iraq.

Hashemi, who is Sunni, denounced the death sentence handed down by an Iraqi court as an act of political retribution by the country's Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Speaking from exile in Ankara Monday, Hashemi accused the Iraqi prime minister of manipulating the court to oppress him.

Iraq's Kurdish President Jalal Talabani says the timing of the Hashemi verdict is "regrettable" because the vice president remains in office. He warns the court's move may complicate Iraq's efforts to achieve national reconciliation.

In Sunday's ruling, the court convicted Hashemi, in absentia, of murdering a Shi'ite security official and a lawyer and sentenced him the death. Hashemi says the rulings were politically motivated and that he will not return to Iraq to challenge them under what he called a "corrupt" judiciary.

Maliki's aides deny that he influenced the trial.

Hashemi fled to Turkey after Iraq's Shi'ite-led government issued the terror charges against him in December, the day after U.S. troops withdrew from the country.

The fugitive vice president denies accusations that he oversaw paramilitary death squads responsible for targeting political opponents, security officials and Shi'ite religious pilgrims, through a six-year period.

Sunni leaders who support Hashimi accuse Maliki's government of trying to sideline them from a power-sharing arrangement meant to guard against the sectarian violence that continues to plague Iraq.

After the fall of Sunni President Saddam Hussein and the rise to power of Iraq's Shi'ite majority, many Iraqi Sunnis feel they have been sidelined. The increased political tension is often accompanied by a surge in violence as Sunni Islamist insurgents try to capitalize on instability to strike at the government, local security forces and Shi'ite religious targets.

Sunday's verdict coincided with a wave of bombings and insurgent attacks that killed at least 100 people, making Sunday one of the bloodiest days in Iraq since American troops withdrew, last year.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the violence, but Iraqi officials suspect al-Qaida militants, who have staged periodic attacks in their campaign to undermine Iraq's Shi'ite-led government.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: sam from: Taifa
September 11, 2012 9:41 AM
Under this Islamic prime minister, Turkey is fast becoming a haven for fugitives, terrorists and so-called "freedom fighters"

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid