Odious Debts

Al-Sistani issues fatwa for return of stolen government documents

Kathleen Ridolfo
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Vol. 7, No. 7
February 27, 2004

Iraqi Shi’ite Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has reportedly issued a fatwa calling on Iraqis to return documents looted from government offices in the aftermath of Operation Iraqi Freedom, according to the Al-Da’wah Party Web site at http://www.daawaparty.com.

Al-Sistani reportedly said that those in possession of looted government files, particularly files opened by Iraq’s security apparatus, should return them to a government agency. He added that it is “impermissible” for looters to keep the documents or sell them.

The trade and sale of documents and files that contain personal information on the former regime’s state employees as well as documents on civil and property rights, and military and retirement records has flourished in the Iraqi capital, the Web site reports.

Baghdad newspaper “Al-Mada” published information obtained from files found at the Iraqi State Oil Marketing Organization purporting evidence that the Hussein regime bought off Western and Arab individuals, companies, and politicians through illicit oil sales and bribes in exchange for their support for the regime.

Categories: Odious Debts

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