IRAQI Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered an “immediate” investigation into corruption claims against senior oil officials at the weekend following allegations in the international media.
He said that both the anti-corruption commission and the judiciary should investigate reports published by the Huffington Post and Australia’s Fairfax Media into large-scale bribe-taking by Monaco-based Unaoil company.
The report names four senior Iraqi officials as having received bribes from Unaoil between 2004 and 2012.
They include former oil minister Abdul-Karim Elaibi and outgoing Higher Education Minister Hussain al-Shahristani, who previously served as oil minister and deputy prime minister in charge of energy. The publications said that they had drawn on information gleaned from hundreds of thousands of internal emails dated between 2002 and 2012 for their six-month investigation.
The report said that Unaoil had paid at least $25 million (£17.57m) in bribes via middlemen to secure Iraqi officials’ support, while complaining that they were “greedy.”