Al Hashemi death squad trial delayed over venue dispute



BAGHDAD // The trial of Iraq's vice president, Tareq Al Hashemi, was delayed yesterday by a dispute over the venue. It has been rescheduled for Tuesday.

The delay came a day after Turkey said it would not extradite the Sunni official.

Mr Al Hashemi, whose trial was to have started on May 3, and his bodyguards face about 150 charges related to operating a death squad. Interpol has issued a "red notice" calling for Mr Al Hashemi's arrest.

He has dismissed the charges as politically motivated, and says he fears for his life after leaving Iraq weeks ago.

Muayad Al Izzi, one of Mr Hashemi's defence lawyers, said he appealed for the case to be transferred to the federal Supreme Court on the grounds that it had jurisdiction over Iraq's highest officials.

He also said the investigation into Mr Al Hashemi and his guards was flawed because confessions had been obtained "by force".

None of Mr Al Hashemi's bodyguards were in court.

Yesterday's hearing was over the assassinations of two security officials and a lawyer.

The charges against Mr Al Hashemi were first levelled in December after US troops completed their withdrawal, sparking a political crisis that saw the vice president's bloc boycott the cabinet and parliament over accusations that Nouri Al Maliki, the Shiite prime minister, was monopolising power.

Mr Al Hashemi and his political allies have slammed the charges as targeting their Sunni-backed Iraqiyya bloc, which won the most seats in March 2010 parliamentary elections but was outmanoeuvred for the premiership by Mr Al Maliki's alliance.

After the initial charges were filed, the vice president fled to the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq, whose authorities declined to hand him over to the central government.

They then allowed him to leave on a tour of the region that has taken him to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

The Turkish deputy prime minister, Bekir Bozdag, said on Wednesday that Ankara "will not extradite" Mr Al Hashemi, whom he described as "someone whom we have supported since the very beginning".

Mr Bozdag's comments came a day after Interpol issued its red notice for Mr Al Hashemi's arrest on suspicion of "guiding and financing terrorist attacks".

Bridgerton season three - part one

Directors: Various

Starring: Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, Jonathan Bailey

Rating: 3/5

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July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

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How much of your income do you need to save?

The more you save, the sooner you can retire. Tuan Phan, a board member of SimplyFI.com, says if you save just 5 per cent of your salary, you can expect to work for another 66 years before you are able to retire without too large a drop in income.

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Obviously, this is only a rough guide. How much you save will depend on variables, not least your salary and how much you already have in your pension pot. But it shows what you need to do to achieve financial independence.

 


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