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 Iraqi fugitive Sunni VP Hashemi rents two apartments in Istanbul 

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Iraqi fugitive Sunni VP Hashemi rents two apartments in Istanbul  20.4.2012  

April 20, 2012

ISTANBUL,— Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi will be protected by high security staff while staying in Istanbul after holding talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on April 14 evening.

Two apartments have been rented in the Başakşehir district of Istanbul for Hashemi, his family and his guards, who came to Turkey on April 9, daily HaberTürk reported.

The Turkish government has tasked a police unit with protecting al-Hashemi and his family visiting the country.

The daily said Hashemi is being protected during his stay in Turkey by 17 Turkish police officers, including one chief police officer from the Turkish Prime Ministry’s Protection Department.

Al-Hashimi’s wife and two daughters are guarded by separate police officers.

The al-Hasemi family is not staying at a hotel due to security concerns, the daily said.

Diplomatic sources told the Hürriyet Daily News that it is understood that these measures are taken to provide full security for Hashemi during his temporary stay in Turkey.

Sources also said Hashemi did not make any asylum request from Turkey and that Iraq has not requested extradition of the fugitive leader from Turkey,www.ekurd.net as it did from Qatar when Hashemi was there.

Hashemi said some of his family members were with him while others were in Jordan, however, said he will stay in Turkey for a few days more.

Hashemi who has been sheltering in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, following a political dispute in Baghdad on Thursday met Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani in Istanbul. "We have had fruitful talks," Hashemi told the press without giving details.

A political crisis erupted in Iraq on December 19, when Maliki's-led government sought an arrest warrant for Sunni Vice President Tareq Hashemi on charges he ran death squads and the ouster of Sunni Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq.

Hashemi denies the accusations and has called for the referral of his case to the Kurdistan region, but Iraq’s judiciary has rejected his request.

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