Iraqi family faces eviction

A FORMER commander in Saddam Hussein's army, who fled Iraq to avoid being murdered, is fighting to avoid eviction from his Roxburgh Park home.

A FORMER commander in Saddam Hussein's army, who fled Iraq to avoid being murdered, is fighting to avoid eviction from his Roxburgh Park home.

Malkizdak Khoshaba, who has a heart condition, was left speechless and embarrassed when officers from the police and sheriff's department arrived at his house last month and told him he must leave, due to unpaid debts.

"My wife was cooking for the family and they told her to stop, turn everything off and to leave," he said through his daughter, Syriane, who acted as his interpreter. "We had tried to do all the right things and we have been humiliated," he said.

The panicked family rang their broker at Circular Finance, which arranged a stay on the eviction by paying $3700 in alleged outstanding legal fees.

"I told them we would pay it if they called off the dogs, but we have now been told that if they do not pay $65,000 in the next two weeks they will be evicted," a spokesman for the finance company said.

Mr Khoshaba feared persecution and death in his homeland and came to Australia for a better life and to avoid factional battles in Iraq. Mr Khoshaba fled to Syria in 1991 after his brother was shot dead by rivals. Arriving in Australia in 1995, the Khoshabas started to build a new life and the patriarch was looking forward to retirement.

A spokesman for the finance broker said the family had ample funds to pay the initial repayments on a $60,000 loan from Equity One, taken out to help his son finance a cleaning business, but the lender had been trying to withdraw the money from the wrong account.

The case went to court in August and the family said it had no money to fight the case.

The Circular Finance spokesman said he would find funds to mount a legal challenge, even if he had to finance it himself.

Equity One refused to return numerous calls asking for a response.