The sixth hearing for Peregraf’s freedom of information lawsuits against Kurdistan Region president, KRG prime minister was held in Erbil
The sixth hearing for the two lawsuits filed under the Kurdistan Region’s Right to Obtain Information Act (No. 11, 2013) by Peregraf’s editor-in-chief against President of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani was held in Erbil on Thursday (December 15).
Peregraf’s editor-in-chief Surkew Mohammed and lawyers representing Nechirvan Barzani and Masrour Barzani were present at the hearings.
The lawyers of the KRG Prime Minister and Kurdistan Region’s President each submitted a letter to the court, formally asking the judge to reject the lawsuits due to several reasons.
Additionally, a member from the public prosecutor's office expressed his opinion on the case in a written form requesting the court to dismiss Peregraf's lawsuits on several grounds.
In response, Mohammed asked for a proper permit from the court in order to prepare a written response to the requests of the Barzanis’ lawyers and the public prosecutor and submit the response to the court at the next hearing. Therefore, the judge decided to postpone both hearings to 5 January 2023
Peregraf‘s Freedom of Information Lawsuits against Kurdistan Region’s Three Presidencies:
In August 2022, Peregraf’s editor-in-chief filed three lawsuits under the Kurdistan Region’s Right to Obtain Information Act (No. 11, 2013) against Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani, KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, and Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Rewaz Fayaq — collectively known as the "Three Presidencies" for not providing information about their budgets, expenditures and how they have spent public funds. The case is designed to test the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG)commitment to transparency and freedom of information.
At the request of their lawyers, the lawsuits of President Barzani and Prime Minister Barzani were transferred from Sulaimaniyah to Erbil. Erbil is politically controlled by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), of which the two Barzanis are senior leaders.
Meanwhile, on 10 November 2022, the Sulaymaniyah Court ruled in favour of Peregraf’s Editor-in-Chief Surkew Mohammed in his freedom of information lawsuit against Speaker of the Kurdistan Parliament Rewaz Fayaq ordering the defendant to provide all the data and information contained in the warning. Speaker Fayaq can appeal the ruling.