MESOP : CORRUPTION IN KURDISTAN – Iraqi Kurdistan government rejects Wikileaks report on Barzani

22 July 2016 – HEWLÊR-Erbil –  Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has rejected the credibility of Wikileaks emails which claim that Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has given Kurdistan Region $200 million.Four days after the failed coup attempt in Turkey, Wikileaks released a cache of nearly 300,000 emails sent by AKP. One of the emails posted on the WikiLeaks website, dating back to March 15, 2016, purports to show evidence that the AKP gave Massoud Barzani $200 million in financial aid.

The KRG is not mentioned in the Wikileaks email and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region is referred to as “areas under the control of Peshmerga.”According to the email, the AKP provided Barzani with the sum due to the temporary halt of Iraqi Kurdistan’s oil flow following the re-activation of the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik oil pipeline, which was stalled for 24 days.

KRG’s Spokesperson on Thursday rejected the allegation and clarified in a statement that KRG received $150 million from Turkey “as a loan”.

He further explained that more than three weeks in February and March, KRG’s oil exports experienced temporary shutdown, and Erbil requested $150 million from Ankara to pay for public servants’ salaries. Dizayi ensures that the amount is not $200 million and it is a “loan” that needs to be payed back.Massoud Barzani has been routinely accused by critics of amassing huge wealth for his family instead of serving the population. Barzani’s son is the Kurdistan region’s intelligence chief and his nephew Nechirvan Barzani is the prime minister.