Former Iraqi Trade Minister Arrested on Graft Charges

Authorities order his plane to turn around
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2009 1:00 PM CDT
Iraqis descend the steps of the plane at Baghdad airport.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Iraq’s erstwhile trade minister has been arrested on charges of corruption, the BBC reports. Abdul Falah Sudani resigned his post earlier this month after allegations emerged that he and other officials in his department were embezzling government funds. The dramatic capture today occurred after police requested Sudani’s flight to Dubai turn back in midair; the former minister was then arrested at Baghdad's airport.

Sudani's arrest is one of the biggest in years and part of larger government operation to weed out corruption, the Washington Post notes. Among other things, he's accused of stealing public money, importing expired foods, and putting two brothers and other relatives on the payroll. "We will not remain silent over corruption after today," Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said last week.
(Read more Iraq stories.)