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Hashemi says Iraq extradition demand unlawful

03 April, 2012

DOHA: Iraq's fugitive Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi on Monday rejected Baghdad's demand for Qatar to hand him over, saying he enjoys constitutional immunity and has not been convicted.

"There has not been a judicial decision against me from any court, and the demand does not respect Article 93 of the constitution, which provides me with immunity," he told AFP in the Qatari capital.

Earlier, Baghdad had demanded Doha hand over Hashemi, who is accused of running a death squad, and who arrived in the Gulf state on Sunday from Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan, where he fled in December. "Why do they demand that Qatar extradite me?. Officials in Kurdistan have responded to a similar request by telling them that I have immunity according to Article 93," Hashemi said.

Hashemi told AFP he would return to Kurdistan after a "tour around some capitals" which he did not name. Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al-Shahristani condemned Qatar's welcoming of Hashemi as "unacceptable" and demanded his extradition.

"The state of Qatar receiving a wanted person is an unacceptable act and Qatar should back off from this stance, and return him to Iraq," he told a news conference in Baghdad.

End.

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