Iraq’s Chairman of Integrity Commission Dies in Car Crash
The chairman of the Iraqi Commission of Integrity, Judge Izzat Tawfiq, has died in a car accident in Duhok, north of Iraq.
Tawfiq was on his way from Erbil airport after returning from Baghdad when the crash took place on Thursday night.
He was transferred to a nearby hospital, but succumbed to his injuries.
Tawfiq had announced his intention to open major corruption cases, in the framework of the campaign led by Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi via the Supreme Anti-Corruption Council.
Political figures called for an investigation into the crash although a source told Asharq Al-Awsat that the traffic report ruled out any foul play.
The source said the report indicated that Tawfiq’s driver was driving very fast.
Iraq’s president, prime minister, and speaker sent cables of condolences to the judge’s family, mourning his death as a “great loss”.
Abdul Mahdi said in his cable: “We have lost an honest and responsible judge, who we most need at this difficult stage.”
“My sincere condolences to his colleagues, the judges of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Council, which deals with the most serious cases that the deceased had a key role in detecting.”
Former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi asserted that with the death of Tawfiq, Iraq has lost its most prominent official in the fight against corruption.
MP of National Axis Alliance and member of the Parliamentary Security and Defense Committee Mohammad Karbouli rejected in remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat claims that the crash was an accident.
Karbouli urged the authorities to open an investigation into his death in order to provide answers to many questions on the crash.
The Nasr Coalition, led by former prime minister Haider al-Abadi, also said that the judge’s death requires a probe.
Member of the Coalition Ali al-Sunaid stated that the Iraqi government is required to launch a large-scale investigation, saying foul play was highly likely.
Sunaid indicated that several figures and officials seeking to prevent Tawfiq from uncovering corruption cases could have been involved in the incident.
MP of National Wisdom Movement Ali al-Badiri, led by Ammar al-Hakim, agreed with him.
"The Iraqi security forces should open an investigation to uncover the circumstances behind the incident” away from political meddling. “The investigation must be quick and its results revealed to the public," the MP asserted.