Hashemi: If Maliki Resigns, I Will Go To Baghdad Court

Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi has offered to return to Baghdad to appear before a judiciary there, but only if Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki resigns his post first. Meanwhile, at least 10 Iraqis were killed and 15 more were wounded in new attacks.

Vice President Hashemi has agreed to return to Baghdad to face charges of terrorism, but under one condition: Maliki must resign as prime minister. Hashemi feels that the prime minister has corrupted the courts in Baghdad, so he cannot get a fair trial there. Claiming his innocence, Hashemi further stated, "I don’t fear the judiciary, but I fear for it from dictators who violated its independence, politicized it and used it to breach Iraqis’ rights." Hashemi has also offered to appear before a neutral court in Iraqi Kurdistan, where he is a guest at the home of President Jalal Talabani.

Shortly after U.S. troops left in December, the prime minister implemented a campaign against Sunni political rivals. Hashemi, the highest ranking Sunni in government, seemed to be his main target. However, hundreds of Sunnis have been arrested in recent weeks, adding to the belief that this is some kind of sectarian "vendetta" and that the prime minister is merely concentrating power for his own purposes.

Despite assurances from Maliki that Iraqiya politicians in Diyala province would be safe, a rocket attack on Representative Hisham al-Hayali’s house left considerable damage to the property.

Three border guards were killed at a Syrian checkpoint in Ninewa province.

A policemen and a gunman were killed at a checkpoint in Hammam al-Alil.

Gunmen killed a Sahwa leader and wounded three other members in Rashid.

A blast in Taji wounded four people, including three civilians.

An elderly woman and her grandchild were wounded in Hibhib during a mortar attack.

In Mosul, gunmen killed a soldier at a checkpoint.

A Sahwa member was killed during an explosion in Hilla.

A bomb near a Falluja policeman’s home wounded two people.

A Sahwa member was wounded during an attack in Baghdad.

A clash in al-Intisar left one suspect dead and three arrested.

A bomb wounded a military officer in Jalawla.

In Baiji, a Sahwa member was killed and two more were wounded in an I.E.D. attack.

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has been covering Iraqi casualties for Antiwar.com since 2006.