The former mayor of Kirkuk, arrested for charges of corruption, will be released per the 2008 amnesty law, by a decision of the Kirkuk Court of Appeal, although the amnesty committee considers what was committed "constitutes a crime."
On May 9, the Committee for the Implementation of the Amnesty Law of the Kirkuk Court of Appeal decided to release Jamal Muhammad Shukur in accordance with the provisions of the Amnesty Law No. 19 of 2008.
The committee’s decision stated, “The committee found that, in 2003, the three defendants in the case, while working in the Kirkuk Municipality Directorate, proceeded with transactions related to the registration of commercial plots of land in the names of beneficiaries, contrary to their job duties, and therefore the legal description of the accused’s act constitutes a crime.”
But “their actions are not exempted from the Amnesty Law No. 19 of 2008, because it occurred before issuance of amnesty law.”
"Therefore, the committee decided to include the defendants convicted by the aforementioned law, to stop the legal procedures against them permanently, and to release the convict (Jamal Muhammad Shukur) from prison as far as this case is concerned."
On April 19, the Kirkuk Criminal Court issued a one-year prison sentence for Jamal Muhammad Shukur, the former mayor of Kirkuk and a representative of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan PUK, one of the leading Kurdish parties, bloc in the previous session of the Iraqi parliament, after he was accused of his involvement in corruption cases and was transferred on the same day to prison to implement the sentence.
Located 238 kilometers north of Baghdad, the oil-rich city of Kirkuk is an ethnically mixed province for 1.7 million Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen, Muslims, Christians and Kaka'is. It has long been at the center of disputes between Baghdad and the Erbil.
Kirkuk was under the control of the Kurdish parties especially the PUK until the Iraqi forces declared victory over ISIS in 2017 and ousted Kurdish forces in Kirkuk and the disputed territories following a referendum for independence by the Kurds in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq KRI and Kirkuk in September 2017.
Concerning the decision of the Court of Appeal, Jamal Shakur said in a statement he made to KirkukNow today, Wednesday, May 11, “After 20 days of moving the case against me, which dates back to the period of Kurdish control (in Kirkuk), and after several court sessions and the presentation of a set of documents and evidences, a committee of five judges decided to release me."
He added, "What happened to me was motivated by political goals, from the actions of a group of people," without giving any names.
An official source in the Kirkuk Organizations Center of the PUK said in a previous statement to (KirkukNow), that "a medical report has been prepared for (Jamal Shukur) addressed to the Kirkuk Detention prison, stating that his health condition is unstable, so he was transferred to the hospital while he is undergoing treatment there.
However, Jamal Shakur confirmed today that he was not imprisoned even for one day, but (KirkukNow) learned from one of the sources that the former mayor of Kirkuk is still at Azadi Hospital until the moment this news was prepared, and he is scheduled to be released shortly.
Currently, the Iraqi army, federal and provincial police, Special Forces along with Shiite paramilitary of Popular Mobilization Forces PMF, undertake the security of Kirkuk province and the disputed territories.