Iraq's former anti-corruption chief slammed its leaders Monday, describing graft as "part of the struggle for power", according to a report from AFP.
Rahim Hassan al-Uqailee [Judge Rahim al-Akili; al-Ugeily], who last week stepped down as head of Iraq's Integrity Commission, sharply criticised interference in his inquiries, and said he had lost political support for his anti-corruption efforts since the beginning of the year.
"The fight over stealing the money of the state and its property is the unspoken part of the struggle for power in Iraq today," Uqailee said in an open letter to the Iraqi parliament's anti-corruption committee.
The letter was copied to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, President Jalal Talabani and his two deputies.
Uqailee, who resigned on Thursday over political interference, said while Iraq's leaders claimed to be aware of the size of the corruption problem, they had instead recently complained over monitoring and legal restrictions.
He said they were "trying hard to resist the tools and mechanisms of accountability and transparency," and added: "I strongly rejected being a partner in this."
Uqailee said he had been unable to maintain the political backing he had received before this year, claiming "no committee fighting corruption can work actively and efficiently without sufficient political support."
The 44-year-old has been heading Integrity Board since January 2008. AKnews reports that in February this year he accused Iraqi ministers of "spreading corruption in their offices instead of uprooting it", also accusing them of money laundry to fund the insurgents.
(Sources: AFP, AKnews, Aswat al-Iraq)