Iraq's Maliki tells Kurds to hand over Sunni leader

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 21, 2011 5:44 AM

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Wednesday called on Kurdish authorities to hand Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi over to judicial officials to face charges his office had run death squads.

"We ask our brothers in the Kurdistan region to take responsibility and hand the wanted person over to the judiciary. His running to another state would create problems," Maliki told a press conference.

Hashemi, who denied the charges, travelled to semi-autonomous Kurdistan after Maliki's central government sought his arrest, a move that has heightened sectarian tensions soon after U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq.

(Reporting by Suadad al-Salhy; Writing by Serena Chaudhry; Editing by Peter Graff)