World Bulletin / News Desk
"Security personnel found the body of Abdul-Qadir al-Qaisi on Thursday, a few days after he went missing," a police officer in Kirkuk province -- located north of Diyala -- said, speaking anonymously due to restrictions on talking to media.
"Al-Qaisi went missing just before New Year’s Day while travelling to Baghdad from [the northern city of] Erbil," the police officer said.
On Thursday, al-Qaisi’s body was discovered in Diyala’s Al-Azim area on the Baghdad-Kirkuk Road.
Iraqi authorities have since launched an investigation into the incident.
One of al-Qaisi’s most prominent legal clients had been Tariq al-Hashimi, who served as Iraqi vice president from 2006 to 2012.
Al-Hashimi is a former leader of the Iraqi Islamic Party (Sunni), regarded as an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood group.
During the period when Nouri al-Maliki served as prime minister (2006-2014), al-Hashimi had been charged by the Iraqi authorities with "supporting terrorism".
In 2011, al-Hashimi fled to northern Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region. Not long afterward, he went to Turkey, where he remains until now.
In 2012, an Iraqi court sentenced the former VP to death in absentia. Al-Hashimi, for his part, has described the move as an attempt by al-Maliki and the latter’s supporters to "settle accounts".
In the aftermath of these developments, al-Qaisi, a lawyer for al-Hashimi, moved to the Kurdish region due to what he described as frequent threats to his life.
He had been on a visit to Baghdad to celebrate the New Year when he disappeared.
Al-Qaisi held a PhD in law and had formerly served as the head of Baghdad’s lawyers syndicate. He was known for criticizing the Iraqi government and its reliance on sectarian-based militias.