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Iraqi president files lawsuit against Kurdish newspaper

BBC Monitoring

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has filed a lawsuit against Hawlati newspaper for publishing an article by an American writer, the website of independent twice-weekly Hawlati reported on 18 January.

The Political Bureau spokesman of Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Mala Bakhtiyar, said: "The whole report is fabricated and untrue and it defames the personality of Mam [honorific] Jalal [Talabani], who is the president of Iraq and the PUK secretary general. Hawlati newspaper published the report intact and ran it as the main headline [of its front page] without verifying it."

Bakhtiyar added: "Hawlati should have consulted us to avoid publishing an untrue report. Hawlati newspaper operates in Kurdistan within the legal framework. They should not have published the report."

Hawlati published a translation of Michael Rubin's article "Is Iraqi Kurdistan a good ally?" on 13 January. Rubin's article was posted on the website of the US think-t! ank, the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.

The report said the article "dealt with the corruption of Kurdish leadership".

Source: Hawlati website, Sulaymaniyah, in Sorani Kurdish 18 Jan 08



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