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Iraq judge drops Chalabi charges


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Iraq judge drops Chalabi charges

An Iraqi judge has confirmed that criminal charges against politician Ahmed Chalabi have been temporarily dropped for lack of evidence.

Judge Zuhair al-Maliki issued a warrant in August over an alleged counterfeit operation but Mr Chalabi was not arrested on return to Iraq from Iran.

The politician once seen as a US favourite said in early September that the charges had been dropped.

Judge Maliki confirmed the case had been dropped at a hearing last week.

However, he told the Associated Press news agency that charges could be re-filed if more evidence was uncovered.

The original charge relates to counterfeit Iraqi cash reportedly found in Mr Chalabi's home during a raid by US and Iraqi forces in May.

An aide to Mr Chalabi, Haiydar al-Mousawi, said he was sure no evidence would be found "because there [had been] no evidence from the beginning".

Separate murder charges against Mr Chalabi's nephew, Salem Chalabi, still stand, Judge Maliki said last week.

He was responding to a statement by Salem Chalabi, who has been living in the UK, that those charges had also been dropped.

"The investigation is still going on - I don't know why he is saying that," said the judge.


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