Muhammad Hasan, the former mayor of Khanaqin has been sentenced to two years prison on charges of misuse of power during his tenure.
Hasan called the sentence, which he was given today (16 December 2020), “unjust” and is adamant that there is no evidence against him.
Hasan told KirkukNow: “Based on a complaint by the public prosecutor, I have been given a two-year [prison] sentence on the charge that I didn’t consult my superiors in relocating Kalar-Khanaqin [transport] station and leasing its former location.”
“The truth is not as such, I have rather acted lawfully and in accordance with decisions by Khanaqin district’s administrative council. So, I have not committed any judicial or administrative laws.”
Hasan is currently under arrest at the police station in Kalar. He talked to KirkukNow by phone, and further said: “I consider this case and my sentencing an injustice and slander. That’s why I will repeal the sentence, because my superior was the Federal Government, not the Garmiyan administration, which is under the Kurdistan Regional Government’s authority.”
“I challenge the existence of any evidence against me. I have not taken one Dinar form myself; I am the victim of politics.”
Hasan was appointed mayor in December 2003 and retired 16 years later in 2019.
“Conditions in Khanaqin after 2003 were unstable. Administrative conditions were in chaos while the Kurdistan Regional Government was in charge in the district, and what I have done has been for the people of Khanaqin. I don’t regret any of it.”
Khanaqin district is located in the north of Diyala province and included in the areas designated as ‘disputed’. The Majority of the district’s inhabitants are Kurds, with Arab and Turkmen minorities. After the fall of Saddam’s Ba’th regime, the district’s security was managed by the Kurdistan Regional Government. In 2017 The Iraqi Army and the paramilitary PMF took it over by force.