'Selling off' public land

Integrity commission arrests housing association head in Nineveh

NINEVEH – The Integrity Commission has executed an arrest warrant on Saturday against the head of a housing association in Nineveh. The arrest was made on the grounds of the association’s alleged encroachment upon state-owned land valued at 80 billion dinars ($53m).

A statement from the Integrity Commission indicated that “a team from the Nineveh Investigation Directorate, after thorough follow-up and investigation, managed to execute the arrest warrant issued for the president of a housing association in Nineveh. The association is accused of encroaching on approximately 160 dunams (about 40 acres) of land owned by the Ministry of Finance, illegally dividing the land into 2,000 variously sized plots and selling them for a total of 80 billion dinars.”

During the operation, based on a judicial memo, “documents and land registry images of the encroached land were seized.” The team “organized a formal seizure report of the operation, which was presented to the investigative judge specialized in integrity cases in Nineveh.” The judge decided “to detain the accused in accordance with the provisions of Article 340 of the Penal Code.”