May 8, 2012 / 9:51 AM / in 7 years

Interpol seeks arrest of Iraq vice-president

PARIS (Reuters) - Global police body Interpol called on Tuesday for help in arresting fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi on suspicion of planning and funding attacks in Iraq.

Hashemi, a leading Sunni Muslim politician, fled Baghdad in December when Iraq’s Shi’ite-led government accused him of running death squads.

The vice president, who is currently thought to be in Istanbul, has denied the charges saying they are politically motivated and has refused to stand trial in Baghdad.

France-based Interpol said it had issued the “Red Notice” arrest alert at the request of Iraqi authorities.

The Red Notice did not amount to an international arrest warrant, it added, but was a call on forces in its 190 member countries to help locate al-Hashemi and bring him to justice.

There was no immediate reaction from Turkey which is a member of Interpol.

“At the request of Iraqi authorities, Interpol has published a Red Notice for Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi on suspicion of guiding and financing terrorist attacks in the country,” Interpol said in a statement.

“The Interpol Red Notice will significantly restrict Tareq al-Hashemi’s ability to travel and cross international borders,” Interpol’s Secretary General Ronald K. Noble added.

Reporting By Vicky Buffery; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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