A US government report has found that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki's government is plagued by corruption and has quashed investigations of political allies, National Public Radio reported.
The draft report from the US embassy in Baghdad says Maliki's government is failing to stop officials from committing fraud and is undermining its own watchdog agency, preventing it from carrying out effective investigations, NPR reported on air and on its website.
The government has withheld funds from the commission on public integrity, the country's anti-corruption agency, and in some cases the prime minister's office has quashed probes into politicians allied with the government, NPR said.
Some ministries, such as the interior ministry, "are seen as untouchable because of their political connections to the government," NPR correspondent Corey Flintoff said from Baghdad.
The US report and accounts from employees at government ministries give the impression "that corruption is completely sapping the country's resources," with top officials at the interior ministry profiting from contracts for equipment, Flintoff said on NPR's program "All Things Considered."
The report recommends the State Department provide more support to the Iraqi watchdog agency, including using US forces to protect the agency's staff, some of whom have been murdered on the job, NPR said.
The Iraqi investigators should be allowed to carry weapons and their families should receive police protection, the US government report also said.
NPR said the report was "sensitive" but not classified.
An embassy official told NPR the report was still in draft form and that there was some question about the reliability of some of the sources cited in it.
Last Mod: 02 Eylül 2007, 14:57