INVESTCORP: (10) Events Leading To Dr. Hashim’s Resignation
When Dr. Hashim’s term of office as President of the Arab Monetary Fund ended in May 1982, and because of political differences with Saddam Hussein, he did not go back to Iraq but went to live in London, England. In early June 1982, he sent his written resignation as Presidential Advisor to President Saddam Hussein. His resignation was ignored, and on June 27, 1982, he received a message from Saddam’s office, ordering him to return to Iraq within thirty days, otherwise “appropriate” measures would be taken against him. This message was delivered through the then Iraqi Ambassador in London Dr. Abdul Wahab Al-Qaraghouli. Dr. Hashim ignored this “message” and, naturally, did not return to Iraq. Between June 1982 and July 1983, Dr. Hashim received numerous threats from Iraqi intelligence and was repeatedly alerted by close friends and associates that the danger of being kidnapped was not to be taken lightly.
In or around February 1983, Dr. Hashim and his family applied for residency in Canada. The application was approved in April 1983, and on July 23, 1983, they landed in Toronto, Canada. This move was considered by the regime of Saddam Hussein as defection of a prominent Iraqi official. It further angered Saddam prompting him to sequestrate all of Hashim’s assets in Iraq and sentencing him and eighteen other Iraqi politicians in absentia to death for “treason.”
In or around September 1983, the BBC’s Arabic Service reported that an Iraqi Government in exile was formed, headed by Dr. Hashim and three others. Though the story was not quite accurate, the Iranian Ambassador to the UN announced in the UN that his Government was not willing to deal with Saddam Hussein but would deal with the Government in exile to end the Iraq-Iran war.
In or around early October 1983, Dr. Hashim received an alarming telephone call from an old acquaintance, Mr. Rifaat Chaderji. The message was as follows:
“At the behest of Saddam Hussein, the President of the Arab Monetary Fund [who succeeded Dr. Hashim], Mr. Saeed Ghobash, a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, has been invited to Baghdad to meet Taha Yaseen Ramadhan – Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq. The meeting was attended by [then Iraq’s] Minister of Finance [in his capacity as a member of the Board of Governors of AMF] and his Chief of Staff Mr. Mahmoud Othman. At the meeting, Taha Yaseen Ramadhan sought the AMF’s (9) help in ‘getting’ Dr. hashim by ‘inviting’ him to Abu Dhabi or Jordan under any pretext such as ‘lecturing’, ‘consultation’ or ‘board meeting’. Once Hashim was lured to those destinations, the Iraqi Intelligence Services [Mukhabarat]would complete the remainder of the ‘invitation’ formalities. Mr. Ramadhan’s explanation for this request was that Dr. Hashim has been openly associating with enemies of the Iraqi regime!”
After the meeting, Mahmoud Othman rushed to Rifaat Chaderji (who was leaving Baghdad for London) and informed him about what was discussed in the meeting, requesting him to warn Dr. Hashim of the “conspiracy.”
The above “conspiracy” was further confirmed in a document (in Arabic) which later surfaced through Discovery Proceedings in London. The document is an extract of a secret closed-meeting in Abu Dhabi, attended by the Iraqi Minister of Finance on Tuesday, April 17, 1984.(10) Translated into English, the document refers to the Iraqi Minister saying:
“This person has not returned to Iraq since he left the Fund until now. There were certain internal activities carried out by this person which necessitated interrogating him in Iraq. We asked him to return, but he did not return to Iraq. We did our best to lure him to Iraq by various means without arousing his suspicions, but all these methods failed. We have no alternative but to bring him by unlawful means which of course, is not possible in a European country... . For our part, we have sequestrated all his assets inside Iraq.”
The above events and the continuous “interest” of Saddam Hussein’s regime in “getting” Dr. Hashim made it impossible for him to perform his functions with INVESTCORP and attend its Board of Directors and Executive Committee meetings, particularly in the event those “meetings” were likely to involve the hospitality of Iraqi Intelligence Service! Thus, on December 7, 1983, Dr. Hashim resigned from INVESTCORP’s Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. His resignation was accepted on February 16, 1984. (See: Appendix-09)
(9) Iraq was a major contributor to AMF’s capital.
(10) The document bears the serial discovery number F235-219 disclosed (probably by mistake) by AMF lawyers in London.