Iraqi Defence Minister threatens to sue Swedish media over disclosure of citizenship, alleged fraud

Iraqi Defence Minister threatens to sue Swedish media over disclosure of citizenship, alleged fraud
  • Clock-gray 10:33
  • calendar-gray 25 November 2019

After the Swedish Defence Ministry confirmed the scoop about Najah al-Shammari's status as Swedish citizen, an investigation into grant fraud has been launched, APA reports citing Sputnik.

Iraqi Defence Minister Najah al-Shammari has reportedly hired a Swedish lawyer and is threatening to sue several Swedish news sites for allegedly spreading “false claims”, national broadcaster SVT reported, citing a Facebook statement from the Iraqi Ministry of Defence.

Last week, the news outlet Nyheter Idag disclosed that al-Shammari was a Swedish citizen registered in Stockholm suburb, which was subsequently confirmed by the Swedish Ministry of Defence. A preliminary investigation into grant fraud was also launched, as al-Shammari was disclosed to have received a permanent disability allowance due to memory problems. According to Nyheter Idag, one of the grants amounted to SEK 5,200 ($540) per month, whereas another one, a multi-child supplement, amounted to SEK 4,480 ($465).

The Iraqi Ministry of Defence retorted with allegations of spreading what it called false information, dismissing the reports as “fabricated lying news with the aim of harming the minister's personal and professional life”.Al-Shammari also appears to have had a criminal record in Sweden. In 2016 he was indicted for what SVT called “several serious crimes”, but the accusations were dropped one day before trial. During interrogation, al-Shammari described himself as a doctoral student in political science having a master's degree in military science.

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