On 19 December, Iraq’s Interior Ministry issued an arrest warrant for Hashemi after three of his bodyguards confessed to having taken orders from him to carry out terrorist attacks.
Hashemi later fled to the Kurdistan region in the north and requested the hearing of his charges be held in the semi-autonomous territory.
“Yesterday we heard that the al-Iraqiya bloc wants to transfer the trial of al-Hashemi to Kirkuk and we view this as a serious threat to the independence of the juridical system,” Maliki said during an exclusive interview with Press TV on Thursday.
The Iraqi leader, who has already demanded that President of the Kurdistan Regional Government Massoud Barzani and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani hand Hashemi over to the Iraqi judiciary, said it would be up to the judges to decide on Hashemi’s charges and where he should stand trial.
“We can’t have a credible system if we let the politicians interfere. Baghdad is the appropriate trial location in this case,” he stated.
Maliki has also addressed the presence of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) terrorists in Camp Ashraf, in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala.
Recalling the MKO’s crimes against Iranian and Iraqi leaders and people, the Iraqi prime minister said his country will no longer offer a safe haven for the “terrorist organization.”
“We will no longer tolerate the presence of the MKO on Iraqi soil. This is an internationally sanctioned terror organization. It has not only carried out assassinations against political and religious personalities in Iran but it also has a bloody record in Iraq,” he explained.
Maliki said the terrorist group committed “brutal crimes inside Iraq” as part of the intelligence apparatus in the hands of the former Ba’ath regime of Saddam Hussein, and that Baghdad has issued 120 arrest warrants for MKO operatives inside Camp Ashraf.
“The Iraqi constitution prohibits harboring terror organizations which threaten the stability of neighboring countries,” he underscored.