Thursday, May 12, 2005

Pardon my Chalabi 

No matter what he does, everything seems to work out for Chalabi:
Iraq's new president has asked Jordan's king to help resolve a fraud conviction that has long hung over Ahmad Chalabi, the one-time Pentagon favourite who is now a deputy prime minister in Iraq.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said in newspaper remarks published yesterday that he asked King Abdullah II to resolve Jordan's differences with Chalabi during a weekend meeting.

Chalabi, who was appointed a deputy prime minister in the Iraqi government that took office a week ago, was convicted in absentia in 1992 by a Jordanian military court of embezzlement, fraud and breach of trust after a bank he ran collapsed with about US$300 million in missing deposits.

Chalabi, who denies wrongdoing, was sentenced to 22 years in prison in Jordan but has served none.

Dropping the conviction is Jordan would be a major step in rehabilitating the controversial Chalabi. The former exile opposition leader was once close to the Pentagon but had a falling out over allegations he provided intelligence to Iran, damaging his position while the US dominated Iraqi politics.

I figured he'd wind up like this guy.


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