Hussein al-Shahristani (pictured), Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister, will be summoned to parliament after the Eid al-Fitr holiday to answer questions about two fraudulent ministry of electricity contracts worth more than $1.7 billion, according to AKnews.
A member of the parliamentary commission set up to investigate the case, Uday Awwad, told the agency that MPs signatures have been collected to summon Shahristani, adding that the commission is continuing to accumulate documents and files on the case.
Shahristani was assigned interim Electricity Minister last week, replacing former Minister Raad Shallal who stepped down under government pressure following the revelation of the fraud earlier this month.
The parliamentary Commission on Integrity has published documents purporting to implicate Shahristani and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in approving the contracts, pointing at the same time to the signatures of other senior officials on the deal.
According to Mr Awwad, “Al-Shahristani addressed, through official letters, the Ministry of Electricity saying that he had researched the German and Canadian companies on the Internet and made sure that they were suitable."
Thye commission member questioned the depth of the Deputy Prime Minister’s research into the firms set to construct and equip power stations at a combined cost of $1.7 billion.
"How can the Iraqi government verify its contracts on the Internet?", he asked.