Qatari State Minister for Foreign Affairs Khaled al-Attiyah says Doha rejects Iraq’s demand to hand over fugitive Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi to Baghdad.
Attiyah said in a press conference in Doha on Tuesday, “Diplomatic norms and the post of Hashemi prevent Qatar from doing such a thing.”
Hashemi, who arrived in Qatar on Sunday, is accused of involvement in bomb attacks against government and security officials over the past years, including a November 2011 car bombing in the capital Baghdad that apparently targeted Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al-Shahristani said on Monday Qatar’s receiving a “wanted person is an unacceptable act.” The Iraqi deputy prime minister added that Qatar should “back off from this stance, and return Hashemi to Iraq.”
On December 19, 2011, an investigative committee within the Iraqi Interior Ministry issued an arrest warrant for Hashemi after three of his bodyguards confessed to taking orders from him to carry out the terrorist attacks. Hashemi later fled to the Kurdistan region.
Hashemi denies the accusations and has called for the referral of his case to the Kurdistan region, but Iraq’s judiciary has rejected his request.