View Full Version : Iraq's Aziz is in danger, lawyers say

07-22-2010, 07:32 PM

BAGHDAD, July 14 (UPI) -- Lawyers for former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz claim his life is in danger now that he is in the custody of Iraqi authorities.

Aziz was one of 55 members of the regime of Saddam Hussein handed over to Iraqi custody Wednesday by U.S. military officials. The transfer was part of an effort to transfer authority to the Iraqis as U.S. forces wrap up their mission there this summer.

Badie Aref, a lawyer for the ailing 74-year-old Aziz, said his life is in danger now that he is in the hand of Iraqi authorities, London's Daily Telegraph newspaper reports.

"Aziz called me and said he was being held in the Kazemieh prison in Baghdad," he was quoted as saying. "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."

Aziz surrendered to U.S. forces in April 2003 and is serving a lengthy prison term for his role in the assassination of several Iraqi merchants exploiting the sanctions regime. He suffered a stroke in his prison cell in January.

His lawyer called for intervention in the case and was quoted in the Telegraph a saying U.S. President Barack Obama is "no different than (President George W.) Bush (and) he will take part in killing us, indirectly."