CIA concerned about possible trial of Iraq's Vice President al-Hashemi
Story Code : 145577
Petraeus voiced his concerns in a Tuesday meeting with Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Hashemi is accused of ordering attacks and deadly bombings against innocent Iraqi civilians as well as 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.
On December 19, 2011, an investigative committee within the Iraqi Interior Ministry issued an arrest warrant for Hashemi after three of his bodyguards made confessions of taking orders from him to carry out the terrorist attacks. Hashemi later fled to the Kurdistan region. Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani has illegally provided refuge for Hashemi and refused to hand him over to the Iraqi government.
Reports say Petraeus is worried that in case Barzani hands over Hashemi to the authorities in Baghdad, the behind-the-scene facts about the bombings and terrorist attacks in Iraq will be laid bare.
During their meeting, Petraeus and Erdogan also discussed the upcoming second meeting of the so-called "Friends of Syria" in Istanbul and arming the Syrian rebels.