Polish officers in Iraq bribe inquiry

Polish army officers serving in Iraq are among a number of people who have been arrested as part of an investigation into alleged corruption on aid contracts, Polish Defence Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski said

    There are currently 1700 polish troops in Iraq

    "The inquiry is progressing," he told the public radio station

    Jedynka on Thursday. 

    "We could have dealt rapidly with this matter in Iraq, but we

    prefer to go all the way up the line."

    According to the daily Zycie Warszawy, military police have

    arrested five Polish officers and two civilians.

    The officers include the head of a liaison group with civilian

    authorities that is notably responsible for the distribution of aid

    project contracts in areas of Iraq under Polish military

    administration, the paper added.

    It said those arrested are suspected to have pocketed bribes

    of $250,000 to $500,000.

    Poland is a key Washington ally in Iraq, where it commands a zone

    south of Baghdad, heading a division of 5000 troops from different countries, including

    1700 of its own.



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