Lawyer: former Iraqi regime figures to be released soon

Izzat al-Douri, seen on left, with Saddam Hussein. File photo.

Baghdad ( A lawyer representing jailed figures of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s regime has said they could be released soon under pressure from the United States.

Saudi-owned al-Hayat newspaper quoted Badie Aref saying that he “has trusted information that former regime figures would be released soon under U.S. pressures to free unconvicted persons”.

Aref was apparently referring to former defense minister Sultan Hashem, who had been sentenced to death but had the implementation of the penalty  pending since 2009.

According to Aref, nearly 20 former regine figures are jailed in Nasserya Prison,Dhi Qar province, south of Iraq. “Those consist of former regime officials and officers, and it is hoped that some of those who have not been prosecuted will be released”, Aref stated, claiming that many of them complain of mistreatment.

After its intervention in Iraq against Saddam Hussein in 2003, the U.S. issued a list of 55 wanted figures from Saddam’s government. Five of those, including Saddam, were executed, six were killed, eight died in jail and 16 were released before U.S. troops pull out in 2011.

Five Saddam aides are still at large, including his deputy, Ezzat al-Douro, who was declared dead several times but appeared recently in a video commemorating the establishment of Saddam’s now-defunct Baath Party.


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