Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki may face charges for his role in the rapid fall of Mosul to Islamic State fighters, after a parliamentary probe into the events was referred to prosecutors.
About 30 top generals and politicians were also named, including Babaker Zebari, the former military chief of staff, state-run Iraqiya television reported on Monday.
Maliki was prime minister and commander in chief when Islamic State seized the country’s biggest northern city in June 2014. Many military commanders have accused him of giving the order to withdraw in the face of the jihadist advance.
The case isn’t likely to be raised to “the level of high treason,” and it’s too early to say what will happen next, according to Hameed al-Fayath, a Baghdad-based political analyst.
Though Maliki’s popularity is suffering, “he still has many supporters all over Iraq, especially among the Shiite militias that are fighting Islamic State right now, the security forces, and in politics,” he said.
The former premier is facing other pressures, too. He may lose his position as one of three vice presidents after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said last week that the roles should be eliminated as part of anti-graft efforts. Maliki is currently on a visit to neighboring Iran and has said he supports the proposed measures.
(An earlier version of this story was corrected to fix Maliki’s title.)