BAGHDAD, June 22 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi government said Wednesday it would trace about 17 billion U.S. dollars of reconstruction funds that became missing after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
"The Iraqi Council of Ministers discussed the reports prepared by the Board of Supreme Audit about the Iraqi funds that were shipped to the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI)," said a statement from the government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh's office.
"The Iraqi government decided to assign a committee headed by Deputy Prime Minister Roj Nouri Shawis to submit a comprehensive report and follow up the details concerning the Iraqi funds disbursed by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and its U.S. envoy Paul Bremer," the statement said.
The DFI was established after the collapse of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's regime at the request of the CPA, a U.S. body headed by Paul Bremer to govern Iraq after the invasion.
The money, originally came from both seized Iraqi assets and surplus funds from the UN oil-for-food program during the 13 years of severe sanctions imposed on Iraq after Saddam Hussien's army invaded Kuwait in 1990, was transferred to Iraq from the United States to pay the salaries and pensions of Iraqi government employees and for the reconstruction projects.
Iraq accuses U.S. institutions of committing financial corruption by stealing the money.
However, the CPA issued an order granting immunity to the U.S. personnel and institutions working in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.