Former Head of Iraqi Anti-Corruption Agency Now an Undocumented Immigrant

After the 2003 Iraq invasion, Coalition Provisional Authority chief Paul Bremer created a major anti-corruption ministry in Iraq, the Public Integrity Commission (CPI). Last October, former CPI commissioner Judge Radhi al-Radhi, who was appointed by Bremer and whose work has been praised by top U.S. officials, told Congress about the “rampant” corruption in Iraqi ministries that had cost Iraq as much as $18 billion.

Radhi’s gripping account detailed how Prime Minister Maliki tried to subvert his commission and how nearly four dozen of his staff members were killed. Subsequently, he was forced to seek asylum in the United States.

But today, Radhi is living as an undocumented immigrant in Virginia. In a Democratic Policy Committee hearing yesterday, former State Department official James Mattil told Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) that Radhi has no “official status” in the U.S. Currently, only a group of Quakers and Arthur Brennan, the former head of the department’s Office of Accountability and Transparency, are funding Radhi, he said:

DORGAN: And where is Judge al-Radhi at the moment?
MATTIL: Living in an apartment in Springfield, maybe for the rest of the month if they can get it worked out that somebody is going to pay for it. But he’s not allowed to work. He has no official status, so he’s not — he’s undocumented — I don’t know what he is. I mean, he’s lost. He’s a person without a country.
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