Case of Kurdish officers accused of voting for independence terminated

Kirkuk, 2022: A member of the Iraqi Security Forces ISF on duty in Kirkuk. Media of Kirkuk police command

By KirkukNow

The Military Court of Ninewa has terminated the cases of about 50 Kurdish officers and policemen in Kirkuk, who were accused of participating in the Kurdish referendum for independence in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the disputed territories.

The court hearing was held at the Rahimawah police station in Kirkuk on Thursday afternoon, August 4th.

Lieutenant Amer Nuri Shiwani, spokesman for the Kirkuk police command, told KirkukNow that the trial of Kurdish officers and policemen under the Iraqi Interior Ministry was held in the presence of judges of the Mosul court-martial.

The judges decided to close the case after presenting the necessary evidence that the officers and policemen did not participate in the referendum and were neutral on that day.

"No Kurdish officers and police have been punished and all will return to their duties," he added.

The case was opened on October 26, 2017, a month after the referendum, but was temporarily suspended by a political decision until March 17, 2021, with the approval of the Iraqi Interior Minister.

No Kurdish officers or policemen have been punished

"The cases of all the Kurdish officers and policemen in Kirkuk have been closed and there are no charges against them," a senior security source in the Interior Ministry told KirkukNow.

The source, who asked not to be named, said the plaintiffs had not submitted enough evidence on the case, without revealing the names of the plaintiffs.

They are being tried by the Mosul military court because there is no military court in Kirkuk and the judges work two days a week in Kirkuk.

Meanwhile, a source in the military court told KirkukNow that the plaintiff is a secret informant who filed the complaint in 2017 and monitored the proceedings until the trial in Kirkuk.

On March 17, 2021, the Iraqi ministry of interior dictated Kirkuk police directorate upon approval of the minister, those officers to be charged by Iraqi penal code 111 of (crimes against national security) for being separatists, supporting the Kurdistan region referendum for independence held in the three northern provinces plus areas outside the Kurdistan Regional Government’s KRG administration, including the northern oil-rich, multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk.

The referendum in the Kurdistan Region and the disputed territories was held on September 25, 2017, and 92% of the voters voted in favor of indepence. However, 21 days later, on October 16 of the same year, Iraqi forces returned to Kirkuk and all the disputed territories and the Kurdistan Regional Government forces withdrew from these areas after three years, and the results of the referendum were suspended under pressure from Baghdad.

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