Baghdad court orders arrest of Kurd independence referendum organizers

An Iraqi court on Wednesday ordered the arrest of senior Kurdish officials responsible for organizing an independence referendum, AFP said. Voters in Iraqi Kurdistan over two weeks ago overwhelmingly backed independence in the non-binding ballot slammed as illegal by Baghdad. Acting on a request from the National Security Council headed by Iraq’s prime minister, a court in east Baghdad issued warrants against the chairman of the vote’s organizing commission, Hendren Saleh, and two other members, Supreme Judicial Council spokesman Abdel Sattar Bayraqdar said. The three are accused of organizing the referendum “in contravention of a ruling by the Iraqi supreme court,” which had found the vote unconstitutional and ordered it called off.