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Hazim al-Sha'lan is among the accused (file photo)
11 October 2005 -- Iraq has issued arrest warrants against the defense minister and more than 20 other officials from the government of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi over the alleged disappearance or misappropriation of $1 billion in military procurement funds.
Officials said that, in addition to former Defense Minister Hazim al-Sha'lan, the accused include four other ministers from Allawi's U.S.-backed government. The rest are former officials of the Defense Ministry.
Many of the accused, including Sha'lan, are believed to have left the country.
Iraqi investigators have been looking into allegations that, under Allawi's government, millions of dollars were either siphoned abroad or used to fund purchases of shoddy and outdated military equipment at a time when Iraq was fighting a bloody insurgency that still persists.
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For the latest on events in Iraq, see RFE/RL's The New Iraq