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 KDP and PUK illegally take $ 250 million form oil being smuggled to Iran, KDP to sue Change's paper

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KDP and PUK illegally take $ 250 million form oil being smuggled to Iran, KDP to sue Change's paper  1.8.2010  

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Barzani's KDP to sue Change movement's paper

August 1, 2010


ERBIL-Hewlęr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) led by Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani has sued a newspaper belonging to the Kurdish opposition Gorran (Change) Movement for a billion-dollar compensation after it had published an article detailing KDP’s alleged involvement in “oil smuggling” to Iran.

The lawsuit was filed by Fazil Mirani, head of the political bureau of the KDP, on July 25 in the Erbil’s Investigative Court and sent to the newspaper Sunday. It said the paper published a story aiming to harm the reputation of the party.

The Rozhnama’s article published on July 20 had said that both KDP and its ruling partner,                                  

The front-page story of Rozhnama which says KDP and PUK illegally take $ 250 million form oil being smuggled to Iran. This article has led the newspaper to be sued by the KDP.
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) led by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, take more than $ 250 million a month from the benefits of the oil being exported to Iran via tankers on daily bases.

The PUK has not showed any reactions to the story yet. But the KDP’s sue includes a demand to even close the weekly newspaper.

KDP considered the story “baseless” and demanded a billion US dollars from the writer, editor-in-chief and the concessionaire of the paper.

“We have enough evidence to prove any information mentioned in the report,” said Sirwan Rashid, the writer of the story who is also the managing editor,
www.ekurd.netcomplaining that the KDP’s sue violates the Media Law of Kurdistan passed in 2008 since it asks for the closure of the newspaper and a heavier fine.

Rozhnama has been acting more as a mouthpiece of the opposition movement, Gorran, since the July 2009 elections in which it secured almost a third of the seats of 111-member Parliament of Kurdistan.

Gorran is a break-away movement from Talabani’s PUK led by Nawshirwan Mustafa, former deputy leader of Talabani’s party. Gorran run in the both Kurdish and Iraqi elections as an independent list.

A New York Times report on July 8 estimated that hundreds of millions of dollars were generated each year by the reported smuggling operation.

KRG officials have denied the allegations, dismissing suggestions that the alleged practice has been an open secret for years, made possible by government complicity.
 
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