Tuz Khurmatu commissioner disappeared for two months

Tuz Khurmatu- Hassan Zain Al Abidin participation in Anfal Anniversary, 2019. Photo: Tuz Khurmatu media department

Hassan Zain Al Abidin, Tuz Khurmatu district commissioner, has left the town for more than two months and have not come back to office amid arrest warrant for him alleged of being involved in corruption.

Since October 29th, 2019, he has left Tuz Khurmatu and has gone to an unknown place. A caretaker commissioner has replaced him until someone officially succeeds him.

Talib Mohammed Mustafa, sub-distric commissioner of Suleiman Bek, has become the acting commissioner of Tuz Khumartu at the same time and says, “Hassan Zain Al Abidin has not come back because his problem is related to the court.”

Tuz Khurmatu commissioner, before security forces went to his house and his office to process his arrest warrant, left Tuz Khurmatu to an unknown place, excusing that he is on leave of absence.

“He should have been back after the end of his leave of absence which expired at the end of November,” he added.

Mohammed explained that there is disagreements on the replacement of Hassan Zain Al Abidin and different ethnic groups consider the position as their share of power, “beside Kurds and Arabs, Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq, Badr Organization and Turkmen Front demand the position.”

In early 2018, Tuz Khurmato council with a majority vote appointed Hassan Zain Al Abidin, a Turkmen, as the successor of Shalal Abdulla, a Kurd. However, he took office in October due to tensions over the position.

According to Mohammed, based on relevant laws, Tuz Khurmatu commissioner cannot hold office anymore due to two reasons which are his arrest warrant and his case has not been decided upon yet in the court. If proved that he was involved in corruption, he will be punished. The second reason is due to the expiration of his leave of absence and not coming back to office on time, he has lost his position.

Hassan Zain Al Abidin has been accused of corruption involvement when he was the head of Salahadin health directorate.

Al Abidin, while securing his new position as new commissioner of Tuz Khurmatu, told KirkukNow that, “all the legal cases related to my position as head of Salahadin health directorate has been determined by the court and I had been proved unguilty.”

In the Salahadin province, Tuz Khurmatu district is the only disputed area between the federal and regional government that contain Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmen.

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