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Iraq Interior Ministry officials sue TV channels over

BBC Monitoring

Baghdad Al-Iraqiyah Television in Arabic within its 1700 gmt newscast on 21 July carries the following announcer-read report:

    "Major General Ahmad Abu-Raghif, director of the Internal Affairs Directorate at the Ministry of Interior, has said that the rumours spread by some media outlets about him are a desperate attempt to insult national figures. He said that these rumours are part of the campaign to distort the successes that have been made in the security field as part of the Law Enforcement Plan."

    Major General Abd-al-Karim Khalaf, director of the National Command Centre at the Ministry of Interior, said that the Ministry of Interior will sue the satellite channels which sought to defame the ministry's officials through propagating baseless rumours and lies."

    The announcer-read report is followed by a video report by Al-Iraqiyah correspondent Mu'ayyad al-Fartusi.

    In the report, Major General Khalaf is shown saying: "The Internal Affairs Directorate has made great efforts which exceeded Iraq's borders to target some persons who had connections with a regional country, which is not a neighbour of Iraq. The directorate also achieved some goals related to the Iraqi national security. This is why the directorate is targeted by such poisonous and baseless rumours. As you have noticed, Major General Ahmad Abu-Raghif is in the ministry and is carrying out his duty. These are fabricated and groundless reports."

    Abu-Raghif is then shown saying: "The reports carried by some satellite channels, which are well known to the Iraqi people, to the effect that I have no qualifications, that I am at large, or that I have connections with the Iranian side are completely groundless. I am an officer and a graduate of the Iraqi Police College and the Faculty of Law at Al-Mustansiriyah University. I am speaking from inside the premises of the ministry. I am currently a public law PhD student."

    He adds: "These claims are false. The ministry has made great achievements during the past period. The ministry adopted an approach to serve Iraq. This is the ministry of all Iraqis."

    Khalaf says: "We have filed a lawsuit against these channels, some of which are inside Iraq while the others are outside it. We have asked a legal adviser to take legal action against them."

    Source: Al-Iraqiyah TV, Baghdad, in Arabic 1700 gmt 21 Jul 07



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