US transfers 8 Saddam-era aides to Iraqi custody

Eight former members of Saddam Hussein's regime have been transferred from U.S. to Iraqi control, Iraqi officials said.

US transfers 8 Saddam-era aides to Iraqi custody
Badee Izzat Aref, a lawyer for several Hussein-era officials standing trial, said the eight were transferred Friday. He said they included Iraq's former director of military intelligence, Sabir Azizi al-Douri, who was sentenced to life in prison in June 2007.

Hussein's secretary, Abed Hmoud, and another senior Baath party official, Abdul-Ghani Abdul-Ghafour, were among those transferred, Aref said.

Former regime figures sentenced to death – such as Hussein's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as "Chemical Ali" for gassing Kurds in the 1980s, and former defense minister Hashim Sultan – were not among those transferred, Deputy Justice Minister Busho Ibrahim said.

Ibrahim said more defendants would be transferred to Iraqi custody in the future but did not elaborate.

Aref said he disagreed with the decision to transfer the eight men to Iraqi control, saying he feared they would face mistreatment by Iraqi authorities because of their ties to the late dictator.

"We are worried about their safety. The Americans are responsible for any abuse done to them (because of this decision)," Aref said by telephone from Amman, Jordan. Aref and Ibrahim did not explain the timing of the transfer, and officials from the Iraqi High Tribunal were not available to comment.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Haziran 2008, 15:55