Newly appointed Iraq grain board chief removed

London | Reuters — Iraq’s newly appointed Grain Board chief has been removed from his post after less than a week, three sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday, in another sign of turmoil in the body responsible for state imports of vital commodities.

Muthanna Jabbar, appointed just last week, was replaced by Jamal Kamil, one government source and another with knowledge of the matter said. Jabbar was not immediately reachable for comment.

Kamil had been serving as the head of the Trade Ministry’s Legal Directorate, one of the sources said. Kamil was not immediately reachable for comment.

Jabbar had replaced Hassan Ibrahim, who has spent most of his 33-year career as a civil servant in the country’s grains industry.

Ministry officials told Reuters last week that Ibrahim was removed because of his alleged role in a spoiled rice shipment, an account he dismissed.

Jabbar had previously served in the post before being removed in 2009 in a corruption scandal involving kickbacks in sugar deals and a damaged tea cargo. He declined last week to comment on his return to the Grain Board.

The shake-ups in the high-profile post come as government forces and allied militias battle Islamic State militants who now control some of the country’s most fertile farmland.

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