MESOP : ROYAL KURDISH CORRUPTION : Iraqi Kurdistan oil minister’s ex-wife Chra Rafiq denies corruption allegations – German Citizen

GERMANY,— 18 May 2016 – Chra Rafiq, the “businesswoman” in the oil industry, denied on Tuesday allegations over corruption and misuse of public funds and said she is ready to appear in court over such “propaganda.”

Masoud Barzani issued a detention order on Tuesday for Rafiq, the former wife of Ashti Hawrami, the Kurdistan Region’s Minister of Natural Resources (MNR), according to the official website of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).Rafiq, who is a dual Iraqi and German citizen, told NRT she will prove in court she is not guilty of misuse of public property.

“I am not a corrupt person,” Rafiq told NRT. “I hope Barzani will listen to what I have to say because he is not aware people want to smear me.”

“I am not in charge of people’s livelihood,” she added. I have been working since my childhood until now to become wealthy and I own two companies.”

Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s current minister of Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami, who is routinely accused of corruption by international observers and Kurdish officials.

Last January the Kurdish authorities reportedly have seized some $250 million belonging to Chra Rafiq, the Wusha newspaper reported. Rafiq has not been officially accused of having committed any crime although she reportedly left the Kurdistan Region for Turkey upon the announcement of an impending investigation.The KDP’s official website said a detention order was issued for Rafiq as part of Masoud Barzani’s reform plan to fight corruption. Rafiq is currently abroad.

Kurdish security forces detained a number of officials accused of corruption, misuse of power and mismanagement of public funds in the city of Duhok on April 26, but have been released on bail a day later.

On April 13, Erbil police said the head of the Central Bank in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Adham Karim, and his deputy, Ahmed Khidir, were arrested due to a court decision.Many observers believe that many of the oil industry projects in Iraqi Kurdistan are conducted in a non-transparent way. Some have even described them as secretive.

Massoud Barzani has been 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. One of the most sensitive subjects is the Barzanis’ involvement in the economy of the oil rich Kurdish region.According to Iraqi and industry officials familiar with the account, more Kurdish oil is exported through the Ceyhan terminal than the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) declares.Until now no one has been sentenced in Iraqi Kurdistan over corruption.