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Crime and punishment

The high-profile client behind Zaha Hadid Architects’ Central Bank of Iraq project, governor Sinan al-Shabibi, has been dismissed and an arrest warrant issued in his name amid allegations of currency manipulation

Rumoured to be part of a ‘land grab’ by Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, Al-Shabibi’s replacement has raised fears the war-torn republic’s economic stability could be at risk. However, fortunately for Zaha Hadid, whose father was once Iraq’s finance minister, the departure of Al-Shabibi – who described the project in January as a ‘symbol of the bank’s role in the economic development of Iraq and a reflection of the determination to rebuild the country’ – has not derailed the high-rise central Baghdad development. A spokesperson for the practice said: ‘The project is proceeding as planned and, although we are aware of the management changes, these have not affected the project team at the Central Bank of Iraq.’ Phew.

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