[JURIST] Four Sunni members of the Iraqi cabinet will boycott cabinet meetings to protest the arrest warrant [JURIST report] issued for Culture Minister Asad Kamal al-Hashimi, a Sunni politician said Friday. Ayad Al-Samarraie, a leading figure in Sunni parliamentary coalition Iraqi Accordance Front [BBC backgrounder], said that the arrest warrant was part of a sectarian effort to remove Sunni leaders. The four cabinet members say they will not return until Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [BBC profile] intervenes. Al-Maliki has denied that the warrant was politically motivated, and refused to terminate the arrest warrant on judicial independence grounds.
Al-Hashimi, who is currently hiding from Iraqi security forces, is the first member of the Iraqi cabinet to face an arrest warrant. Iraqi security officials have accused al-Hashimi of masterminding an assassination attempt against another parliamentary candidate in February 2005. AP has more.