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Head of Erbil appeals court refuses to leave office

PM:11:05:22/05/2022

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SULAIMANI — The President of the Erbil District Court of Appeals insisted on Sunday (May 22) a decision to remove him from his post was illegal, adding he would provide the necessary explanation for his move in the near future.

The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Judicial Council issued a decision on May 15 to end Judge Brayim Ismail Hamad’s term as president of the Erbil Court of Appeal and to appoint Judge Mohsin, who was previously the spokesman of the Judicial Council.

Hamad said administrative procedures regarding judges must follow the law and insisted the decision from the Judicial Council to replace him was illegal.

He declared the council’s decision would create a dark stain over the rule of law and judicial process and stated he would appeal the decision as his legal right. He also insisted he would explain to the public the facts behind the "illegal” actions of the head of the Judicial Council as soon as possible.

Hamad announced he was prepared for a change to the court’s presidency that was right and lawful

The judge also denied reports that a police force entered the court to prevent the change of office, stating the allegations had no basis and were far from the truth. He said police were present to provide security for a foreign delegation that was visiting the court at the time.

Witnesses reported security forces prevented the new judge, Omid Mohsin, from taking office at the court of appeals on Sunday, NRT reporter Murad Surche said.

Security forces, some dressed in black, prevented the ceremony to replace the president of the appeals and appoint its new judge, Surche reported.

A source informed NRT he believed the issue was related to internal conflict within the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) rather than a conflict between the two judges.

The Erbil Court of Appeals is the same court where the cases involving the Badinan activist and journalists have been adjudicated. Their trials over the past two years on national security charges have been widely criticized as politicized and flawed.

(NRT Digital Media)