Ashty Hawramy to face court

By Aland Mahwy:

Aland Mahwy

Aland Mahwy

Hama-Jaza Hama-Salah, deputy natural resources minister of the Kurdistan region, is to file a law suit against Ashty Hawramy for insulting him, following his resignation as deputy minister.

Ashty Hawramy, the KRG’s natural resources minister, accused his deputy on 8 June of using his position to put pressure on an oil company and request hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Hama-Jaza Hama-Salah, in an exclusive interview with the Kurdistan Tribune, said: “I will file a law suit against any accusations, to clear my name, but I’m currently in hospital receiving treatments.” He went on to say: “I will leave it to my solicitor, he knows who to file a lawsuit against”. But in this dossier the only person who has accused his deputy is Ashty Hawramy, natural resources minister.

Hama-Salah was appointed as deputy minister of natural resources in November 2012, on the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) list, and on 14 of April 2013 he presented his resignation letter to the PUK.

In his resignation letter, a copy of which Kurdistan Tribune has obtained, he states: “During the seven months of my duty as deputy minister, as well as other governmental posts given to PUK, we have been ignored and have been given no power”.

The deputy minister goes on to say that, during the seven months of his duty as deputy minister, he has seen no written documents ‘classified or unclassified’, nor any minutes of the ministry’s council meetings and the ministry’s revenues.

But the natural resources minister, in a statement Kurdistan Tribune has obtained a copy of, refuses the resignation of Hama-Salah: “Before he requested resignation, the deputy minister has been removed from his post; this was conducted in cooperation between our ministry and the council of ministers”.

The resignation of the natural resources deputy minister reveals the disputes and disagreements that currently exist between the coalition and strategic partners – the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) – over the oil sector, particularly since the KDP took control of the natural resources ministry after winning the largest number of seats in the 25 July 2009 elections and forming a coalition government.

The Kurdistan region has approximately 45 billion barrels of oil reserves, which is approximately 4.5% of world oil reserves and 10 to 15% of the Iraqi oil.

The Kurdistan natural resources ministry has signed around 50 oil concessions since 2007 – including with three of the world’s largest companies (Gazprom, Exxon Mobil, Chevron).

These oil concession have no doubt benefited the region economically, but the ministry of natural resources has been subject to constant criticism by the Iraq central government and the Kurdistan opposition for its lack of transparency.

Today, this lack of transparency is apparent, not only in accusations by Baghdad over the oil concessions, but also in the case of Hama-Jaza Hama-Salah, whose resignation as deputy minister has not yet been formally accepted, and who accuses Ashty Hawramy of preventing his deputy minister from becoming familiar with the oil concessions.

Aland Mahwy is a freelance journalist based in Suli.

Copyright © 2013

One Response to Ashty Hawramy to face court
  1. Ari Ali
    June 13, 2013 | 09:27

    Well Ashti Hawrami should be in court for charges like those of Jamal and Ala Mubark !

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