Interpol puts Iraqi fugitive vice president on its most-wanted list
BAGHDAD — Interpol put Iraq’s fugitive Sunni vice president on the equivalent of its most-wanted list Tuesday at the behest of the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad.
Tariq al-Hashemi, who is in Turkey, is being tried in absentia in Baghdad on charges of terrorism and guiding and financing death squads that targeted officials, security forces and Shiite pilgrims.
The Iraqi government links him to about 150 bombings, assassinations and other attacks, and said the death squads were largely composed of the vice president’s bodyguards and other employees.
The trial was postponed last week after lawyers for al-Hashemi, who has denied the charges, appealed to have parliament create a special court to hear the case.
Al-Hashemi has vowed not to return to face what he calls politically motivated charges.
Interpol said on its website it has issued a “red notice” for al-Hashemi, responding to a request from Baghdad. A red notice by Interpol seeks the arrest of a wanted person with a view to eventual extradition. The subjects of red notices are considered to be on the organization’s most-wanted list.
Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said the red notice for al-Hashemi “will significantly restrict his ability to travel and cross international borders.” Al-Hashemi issued a statement charging the Interpol notice “was issued on baseless, politically motivated allegations levied upon me” by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.