Iraqi lawmaker loses immunity in bombing investigation
Iraq's parliament voted Wednesday to strip the immunity of an Iraqi lawmaker accused of complicity in terrorist attacks, including a 2007 bomb attack on the parliament itself, dpa reported.
Mohammed al-Daini, a prominent Sunni lawmaker, had boarded an Iraqi Airways flight to Jordan earlier on Wednesday. But Iraqi authorities ordered the plane to return to Baghdad 20 minutes after it took off, Abdel-Karim Khalaf, general director of Iraq's National Command Centre told Baghdad's Voices of Iraq news agency.
Khalaf said the authorities acted on a court order. The Iraqi parliament voted to strip al-Daini's parliamentary immunity soon after his dramatic return to Baghdad.
Iraqi military spokesman Major General Qassim Atta said on Sunday that three of al-Daini's bodyguards confessed to helping to plan attacks that left hundreds of people dead.
In a video broadcast on Iraqi television on Sunday, Riad Ibrahim, who is al-Daini's nephew and bodyguard, said he helped expel Iraqis from their homes in an effort to change the demographic composition of areas and helped plan several attacks on al-Daini's behalf.
Ibrahim also said he escorted a man into the parliament with a letter from al-Daini authorizing him to be in the building. The man then entered the parliament's cafeteria and detonated explosives strapped to his body, killing himself and eight others.
Al-Daini called the allegations baseless. He said he was being targeted for his "nationalist stances."
Al-Daini has accused Iraq's Shiite-led government of abusing the human rights of prisoners in Iraqi jails and has decried "Iranian influence" on the country's Shiite political parties.
At a press conference after the arrest of his bodyguards last week, al-Daini told reporters they had been arrested by the Baghdad Brigade, which he said receives its orders directly from Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, without any legal or constitutional constraints.