Saturday, March 10, 2007

Saddam judge flees Iraq

Saddam judge flees Iraq
MARCH 09, 2007 Al Jazeera

The Iraqi judge who sentenced Saddam Hussein to death has fled Iraq and sought asylum in the UK.

Al Jazeera's correspondent in London quoted British official sources as saying that Raouf Abdel-Rahman, a member of Iraq's Kurdish minority, has requested political asylum in Britain with his family.

Abdel-Rahman headed the Supreme Iraq Criminal Tribunal that heard Saddam's genocide trial and found the former Iraqi president guilty, leading to his execution.

Saddam was accused of killing more than a hundred Shia in the village of Dujail following a failed assassination attempt on him.

Saddam was hanged in the early hours of December 30.

Asylum plea

Nasir al-Badri, Al Jazeera's correspondent in London, reported that Abdel-Rahman has applied for political asylum and that the British Home Office was considering his application.

"We contacted the British Home Office to make sure whether he and his family have applied for asylum but they refused to comment, saying they did not comment on personal or private cases", al-Badri said.

"But the accredited sources we first talked to were 100 per cent sure they have examined some papers and documents Abdel-Rahman has presented besides an application for residence in Britain", he said.

Besides sending Saddam to the gallows, Abdel-Rahman had also sentenced two other top Saddam aides to death in the same trial.

The two were Saddam's half brother and former intelligence chief, Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, former head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court.

They were found guilty along with Saddam of involvement in the Dujail killings in 1982.