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Iraq Orders Confiscation of Assets of Saddam Hussein’s Relatives, Aides

The seizure of assets extended to real estate, cars, bank accounts and other funds

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Saddam Hussein
Saddam capture in Tikrit, on December 13, 2003. Wikimedia Commons
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An Iraqi legal body on Monday ordered confiscation of assets of hundreds of relatives and cronies of former leader Saddam Hussein.

Tasked with vetting the members of Hussein’s Baath party, the Iraqi Supreme National Commission for Accountability and Justice decided to confiscate the movable and immovable properties of a list of 4,257 people.

Their properties will be registered as properties of the Iraqi Finance Ministry, the Commission said in a statement.

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Saddam Hussein
Some of the named in the list are in prison, others are living abroad and some were executed, such as Saddam Hussein himself and his cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, also known as “Chemical Ali”. Wikimedia Commons

Ali was hanged in 2010 for ordering attacks in 1988 that killed thousands of Kurds in the town of Halabcha in Iraq’s northeastern province of Sulaimaniyah.

Hussein’s half-brother Barzan Ibrahim al-Hassan al-Tikriti as well as former Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan were also on the list, Kurdistan 24 TV network reported.

Also included in the list was Hussein’s special secretary Abdul Hamid Mahmoud, known as Abdul Hamoud, and Tareq Aziz, who died in 2015 in jail after surrendering to US forces in 2003.

The listed people have the right to object the decision in a special committee formed by the Council of Ministers to decide the fate of the seized assets, the commission said.

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Saddam Hussein
After the fall of the Saddam regime in 2003, property belonging to the former ruler and his Baath party members were divided among Iraq’s new leaders, armed forces, and multiple militias. Wikimedia Commons

The seizure of assets extended to real estate, cars, bank accounts and other funds.

The Accountability and Justice Commission on its website published two lists, one including the names of 52 people whose money was confiscated.

The second list has 4,257 names, those who worked for the banned Baath party and its security service. (IANS)

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Iraq lifts ban on international flights to Kurdish airports

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Haider al-Abadi issues a statement lifting ban of international flights on international airports. IANS
Haider al-Abadi issues a statement lifting ban of international flights on international airports. IANS
  • Iraq lifts the ban on international flights to Kurdish airports
  • Prime minister, Haider al-Abadi issues a statement
  • He also talked about security o the airports

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday lifted a ban on international flights to two airports in Erbil and Sulaimaniyah in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.

A statement by his office said Abadi signed a decree to lift the ban after receiving positive response from the Kurdish local authorities “to restore the federal authority in the two airports in accordance with the Constitution of Iraq”.

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Abadi made the announcement during his meeting with the officers of the regional Interior Ministry who were working at the two airports, Xinhua news agency cited the statement as saying.

He also said that a new security directorate will be established to protect the airports in the Kurdish region and it will be under command and control of the federal Interior Ministry.

All the regional airports and border crossings will be linked directly to the main control system in Baghdad, similar to what is done in the other Iraqi airports and crossing, the statement said.

He also talked about the security of airports.

The passports and national ID offices and the employees at the airports of Erbil and Sulaimaniyah will also be linked to the federal Interior Ministry, it added.

Tensions rose between Baghdad and the region of Kurdistan after the Kurds held a controversial referendum last September to approve the independence of the Kurdistan region and the disputed areas.

The Iraqi government later imposed the flights ban on the Kurdish region as part of a package of punitive measures that also included blocking all the border crossings outside the federal control.

The ban on international flights on the region’s international airports of Erbil and Sulaimaniyah forced passengers to apply for an Iraqi visa to transit through Baghdad and Basra international airports to go or leave the Kurdish region.

The independence of Kurdistan is opposed not only by the Iraqi central government, but also by other countries as it would threaten the territorial integrity of Iraq and undermine the fight against the terror group Islamic State.

Iraq’s neighbouring countries, especially Turkey, Iran and Syria, fear that the Iraqi Kurds’ pursuit of independence threatens their own territorial integrity by inspiring the Kurdish population in those countries to seek independence. IANS