Monday, April 02, 2012

Does the Australian government want to prosecute the killer of Paul Moran?

Journalist Paul Moran died covering the Iraq War. The website -- set up to raise funds for Middle Eastern children's education -- explains:

By coincidence, in late 2002 with a war in Iraq looming, the ABC approached Paul to work as its cameraman/editor in Northern Iraq in view of his extensive knowledge and experience there. He leapt at the opportunity provided it did not conflict with another happy event in his life, the arrival of his first child. On February 3, 2003, a baby girl arrived. Paul and Ivana named her Tara Alexandra. The following month, after much thought, Paul decided he was ready to move to Northern Iraq for the ABC. There he linked up with an experienced ABC foreign correspondent, Eric Campbell, himself a new father for the first time. They filed several reports and by all accounts thrived in what they were doing despite the hardships and omnipresent dangers as the war finally began.
On March 22, 2003, they travelled from the nominal Kurdish capital of Sulaymaniyah to visit the base of an extremist group, Ansar Al-Islam, which US missiles had hit the previous night. Just as they completed their filming, there was some sudden commotion outside the base. Paul instinctively ran to get some shots. At that very moment, a car screeched up alongside him and others and exploded. It was a suicide bomber. Paul stood no chance. He was killed instantly, the first international media casualty of the war. He was just 39. My total loss, said a distraught Ivana. The news of his death was greeted with disbelief; such was his larger-than-life character, his apparent indestructibility and the widespread personal and professional regard, admiration and love for him. Scores of messages from so many people in so many countries all noted his great sense of humanity.

In the bombing that killed Paul Moran, journalist Eric Campbell was injured. That attack is again in the news cycle as Australia's ABC News notes that there has been no attempt by the Australian government to prosecute the murder: "The ABC has revealed the Australian Federal Police did not pursue the extradition of the group's leader, Mullah Krekar. A spokesman for the AFP says officials decided there was not enough information to investigate any breach of the criminal code." Over 230 journalists have died in Iraq since March 2003.

The most recent attack on the media came from Nouri's forces who attacked the Communist Party headquarters last week and took away 12 members who work on the party's newspaper. The assault took place days before an anniversary -- the Party's 78th anniversary. The Iraqi Communist Party notes that the Dutch Socialist Party sent them an expression of solidarity as "we receive the news of the brutal police assault on the democracy and free press of Iraq."

In Iraq, Dar Addustour notes that the Parliament will be back in session tomorrow morning. This will be their first session since the Arab League summit. Over a billion dollars was spent by Nouri on that summit. Ayad al_Tamimi (Al Mada) reports that the Integrity Committee of Parliament has files on some of the corruption in the spending of that money including that two billion dollars was spent, not one billion, that 12 residential homes having nothing to do with the summit were refurbished (these are homes of party members). Moqtada al-Sar's bloc is thought to be preparing a press conference to call out the alleged corruption. Meanwhile Nouri insists the claims are false and that not even half-a-billion dollars were spent on the summit. But questions and rumors swirl about Nouri's use of another large sum. We'll get to that in the next entry.

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