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Iraq recovers $116 million from Saddam officials

Iraq recovers $116 million from an official in Saddam Hussein's former regime through French bank accounts with the help of the US embassy

AFP , Saturday 17 Sep 2011
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Iraq has recovered $116 million from bank accounts in France belonging to an official from ex-dictator Saddam Hussein's regime, the country's anti-graft watchdog said in a statement seen on Saturday.

The Commission on Integrity said the funds comprised $106 million deposited in UBAF, a French-registered bank whose shareholders include 19 Arab banks and Credit Agricole, and the equivalent of $10 million in foreign currency deposited in several banks in France.

It said in the statement published on Thursday that the accounts had been registered "under one of the former regime members," but did not say which official specifically.

It said it had obtained the funds with the help of the US embassy in Baghdad.

The announcement comes after the anti-corruption watchdog's former chief stepped down earlier this month, citing political interference in his work.

He slammed Iraq's leaders following his resignation, describing graft as "part of the struggle for power" in the country.

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