Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) –State workers abetting property to the damage of Christians will be severely punished with temporary suspension or definitive dismissal. This was announced in a television interview by the Iraqi justice minister , Haider Zamili, who denounced cheating and illegal possession of homes and land belonging to Christians with the aid of corrupt officials among those responsible for registration of changes in property ownership. The Iraqi Minister of Justice said that henceforth participation of state workers to allow illegal possession of homes or land will be punished. To stop fraud, besides tougher punishment for corrupt state workers, new rules will guarantee safer sales contracts, ascertaining without doubt authentic willingness on the part of the owner to cede the property to the buyer.
In March 2014 a Christian politician Imad Youkhana, belonging to the Assyrian Democratic Movement (ZOWAA) and a member of the Iraqi Parliament, reported certain state workers in the province of Ninive, on the basis of documented testimony, regarding the corrupt system with which many properties, land and homes belonging to Christian citizens changed hands without permission on the part of the legitimate owners . Acts of fraud connected with bribes were perpetrated with the help of persons responsible for real estate registration, facilitated by the fact that many Christians have been resident abroad for years. Mr Youkhana urged Iraqi local and federal government to intervene to dismantle the fraud system, identify those responsible and return all properties illegally acquired to the rightful owner. Mr Youkhana also urged Iraqi Christians living abroad to check the status of properties in Iraq and reaffirm their right of possession, involving also Iraqi embassies in other countries. In the Summer of 2015, Mr Youkhrana called on Muslim authorities to issue a fatwa against fraudulent activity and the illegal possession of property belonging to Christians. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 29/2/2016).