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Irish citizen held in Iraq reunited with family in Dublin

Irish citizen Yasser Eljuboori, who was detained in Iraq for a number of days last week, has arrived back in Ireland and has been reunited with his wife and three children.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin said Mr Eljuboori’s wife, Laura Wickham, texted him a photo of her husband arriving back today.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne, Mr Martin said it was a joyous occasion for the family.

He said there had been some “hiccups” in securing Mr Elijuboori’s passage, but he got his passport back on Monday morning.

The anti-corruption advocate, who had travelled to Iraq on his Irish passport to visit relatives there, was arrested by authorities at Baghdad Airport on Monday 26 February, as he was due to get on a flight home.

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His family in Iraq were told he was being held in relation to defamation charges against Iraqi political leaders, including the Prime Minister.

He was remanded in custody until last Thursday, before being released on bail. However, authorities had retained his passport.

He had been told there would be “two to three days of paperwork” to complete, but on Sunday his legal team was told that two additional charges had been filed against him.

Laura Wickham, her husband Yasser Eljuboori and their three children in Dublin this morning

On Monday, it emerged that both of the new complainants against him had indicated to his legal team that they no longer wished to proceed with those charges.

Mr Eljuboori received his passport and belongings back yesterday, and began his journey home.

In a statement, his wife said: “The past ten days have been a living nightmare for me, but most importantly for Yasser.”

She expressed her thanks to everyone who has supported the family, including Mr Martin, the Department of Foreign Affairs “particularly the assistance of the Consular Directorate and the staff in the Embassy of Ireland in Jordan; and staff at the European Union Delegation to Iraq.”

She also thanked her lawyer, Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC, “who answered the phone to a desperate despairing wife at 1am on Tuesday morning and picked me up with open arms.”

Ms Wickham said that having her husband back means “the kids are getting their dad back and our house will have its life and soul again”.

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