Nashwan Jalal, the press secretary for Kirkuk’s former Governor Najm al-Din Karim, has given out contradictory information about Karim's health.
Karim’s health has been deteriorating and unstable in the past few days, and is currently receiving intensive medical care in a hospital in California according to two sources close to him whom KirkukNow has spoken to.
Nashwan Jalal tol KirkukNow on Tuesday (27 October 2020) that “Karim is in good health and does not suffer from any health problems,” and claimed that what has been said about his health problems are all rumours.
we communicate on a daily basis to run the affairs, and he doesn’t have health problems
"It is true that he is currently in California, but we communicate on a daily basis to run the affairs, and he doesn’t have health problems."
Nashwan Jalal, however, retracted his previous statement on the evening of the same day and told the Esta news outlet: "Najmadin Karim has been having health problems in the past two days. Previously Dr. Karim suffered a stroke in America but recovered. His condition deteriorated two days ago, and was placed under intensive care in Washington.”
His condition deteriorated two days ago, and was placed under intensive care in Washington
Najmadin Omar Karim, born in 1949 in the Shorja neighbourhood of Kirkuk, immigrated to America in 1976 and holds US citizenship. In 2009 he repatriated to Iraq.
In late 2011, he was appointed governor of Kirkuk. In September 2017 he was deposed by the Federal Government for his involvement in a referendum on independence held by the Kurdistan Regional Government.
At the request of the Iraqi government, he was briefly detained by Interpol at the Rafiq Hariri Airport in Beirut, Lebanon on May 21, 2019 when he was trying to board a plane to the U.S.
The detention order was based on embezzlement charges. He was detained for one day and then put under house arrest. He was later released due to political pressure and was returned to the city of Erbil before being handed over to the Iraqi government.
On 15 September 2020, the Iraqi Integrity Commission issued a travel ban for both Karim and the current governor of Kirkuk, Rakan Saeed, in addition to 23 other employees of Kirkuk Administration. They were all charged with corruption in a multi-million project, and were summoned to appear in court.
It is not clear how Karim was permitted to travel to the United States.
Najmadin Karim (left) and his press secretary Nashwan Jalal – photo: from Jalal’s personal Facebook page.