BAGHDAD (Dispatches) – The Iraqi authorities say nine high-ranking officials have been referred to the judiciary for trial over charges of corruption, as part of the government's reforms after a wave of anti-government protests over unemployment, corruption and lack of public services.
The Iraqi Supreme Anti-Corruption Council referred some important corruption cases of "nine high-ranking officials to the judiciary after the completion of the legal procedures supported by evidence," the council said in a statement.
The high-ranking officials include former ministers and former provincial governors, according to the statement.
It confirmed that more cases of corruption "will be referred successively to the judiciary."
In his address to the Iraqi people on Wednesday, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said he will issue a list to refer a number of senior officials to the courts for charges of corruption.
Mahdi's speech came after the eruption of a wave of protests early in the month in the capital Baghdad and other provinces in central and southern Iraq.
"We will ask the parliament to vote tomorrow on changes to ministries,” the Iraqi prime minister said in a televised speech.
He vowed that his government will refer the names of hundreds of corrupt officials to the judiciary for investigation.
Abdul-Mahdi also declared three days of national mourning over the deaths of at least 110 people and injuries of more than 6,000 others during the recent violent clashes between security forces and demonstrators in Baghdad and the country's south.
The remarks came only a day after the Iraqi cabinet approved the second package of reforms, including distribution of residential plots of land to citizens, expansion of municipal borders of cities, and changing agricultural land into residential.
The planned reforms also contain freezing the law, which allows payment of several salaries to one public servant, providing jobs for young people and activation of the agricultural lending fund.
Additionally, the Iraqi cabinet endorsed a possible study to minimize the age of retirement to give more jobs to the youth.
Early on Sunday, the Iraqi cabinet issued a decree with more than a dozen planned reforms, including land distributions, military enlistment and increased welfare stipends for needy families, AFP news agency reported.