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  • Jailed Tareq Aziz handed over to Iraqis: lawyer

    Published on July 15, 2010

    Iraq’s jailed ex-deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz has been handed over by the US military to the Iraqi authorities, his lawyer said Wednesday, warning that his client’s life is “in danger now.”

    “The American side handed over Aziz and other detainees to the Iraqi side on Tuesday night,” Amman-based lawyer Badie Aref told.

    “Aziz called me and said he was being held in the Kazemieh prison in Baghdad.”
    Aref urged intervention by international organisations.

    “He should have been released. What the Americans did violates the Red Cross code because they handed him over to his enemies. His life is in danger now.”

    Aref said Aziz told him that US President Barack Obama is no different to (former US president George) Bush, and that he would take part in killing us, indirectly.

    Aziz, 73, who turned himself in to US forces in April 2003, is one of Saddam Hussein’s few surviving cohorts after the late dictator’s henchman Ali Hassan al-Majid — better known as “Chemical Ali” — was hanged in Iraq in January for a poison gas attack against Kurds in 1988.

    Appointed deputy premier in 1991 under Saddam, having previously been foreign minister, he was jailed for 15 years for murder in 2009, and was given a seven-year term in August last year for his role in expelling Kurds from Iraq’s north.

    The family of Aziz, who had reportedly already had two heart attacks since turning himself in to US forces just days after Saddam’s ouster in April 2003, has repeatedly called for his release on health grounds.

    The former Iraqi official hails from a Chaldean Catholic family.

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