Iraq arrests Mosul ferry owners after deadly disaster

2019-03-31 18:08
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Authorities in Iraq have arrested the owners of a ferry that capsized in Mosul killing nearly 100 people. 

In a statement on Sunday, the Supreme Judicial Council announced the arrest of the boat's owners as well as three engineers who "had certified that it complied with regulations".     

The boat was packed with families from the northern city crossing the swollen River Tigris to celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year, along with Iraqi Mother's Day.

The ferry, which was loaded to five times its capacity, capsized on the swollen river after operators ignored warnings of dangerous weather. 

Most of the victims of the accident on March 21 were women and children. The strong current washed some bodies miles downstream, and more than 50 people are still missing.

'No to corruption' 

In a Twitter post on Saturday, Yahya Rasul, spokesperson of Iraq's defence ministry, named the owners as Obeid Ibrahim Ali and his son, Ryan Obeid Ibrahim.

The pair were caught in Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region.

The judicial council said the cases of the owners and the engineers have been transferred to a panel of three judges and a prosecutor.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said blamed "mismanagement, greed, corruption and negligence" for the tragedy after angry residents staged protests in Mosul, Iraq's second largest city and a former bastion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant Group (ISIS).

On Friday, protesters in Mosul chanted "no to corruption" and pelted the former provincial governor's car with stones.

Nawfal Hamadi al-Sultan, the former governor of Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the main city, was sacked by the Iraqi parliament last week after prime minister accused him of negligence and dereliction of duty.

A Mosul court also issued a warrant for Sultan's arrest on corruption charges. He has now gone on the run.

Read more on:    isis  |  iraq
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