Lawyer says Saddam relative extradited by Lebanon has no role in IS killings

14 November, 2022
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Lawyer says Saddam relative extradited by Lebanon has no role in IS killings

The late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's great-nephew has no links with the Islamic State group but was sent back to Iraq as part of a political deal with Lebanese authorities, his lawyer said.

Bushra al-Khalil told The Associated Press that her client, Abdullah Yasser Sabaawi, was living in Yemen in June 2014, when IS fighters massacred hundreds of Iraqi troops in central Iraq. She said Lebanese authorities handed over Abdullah to Iraq on Friday despite the fact that he had been registered as a refugee in Lebanon and denies any link with the 2014 massacre.

IS captured an estimated 1,700 Iraqi soldiers after seizing Saddam's hometown of Tikrit in 2014. The soldiers were trying to flee from nearby Camp Speicher, a former U.S. base just outside the northern city. IS later posted graphic images of gunmen shooting the men dead after forcing them to lie face-down in a shallow ditch.

Abdullah is the grandson of Saddam's half-brother Sabaawi Ibrahim who was sentenced to death by an Iraqi court in 2009 and remained in prison until he died of cancer four years later. Abdullah's father, Yasser, is in prison in Iraq, al-Khalil said.

Lawyer Al-Khalil, who defended Saddam during his trial in Baghdad before he was hanged in December 2006, said Abdullah left Iraq in 2003 at the age of eight following the U.S.-led invasion and moved to Yemen where he was given Yemeni citizenship after his family was stripped off its Iraqi nationality. She added that the first time Abdullah left Yemen was in late September 2014, three months after the killings, moving to Jordan.

She said the young man moved to Lebanon in 2019 and asked for political asylum hoping to get resettled in Britain to marry an Iraqi woman. Al-Khalil said Abdullah was detained several months ago and was questioned by authorities who found no proof against him being a criminal.

Al-Khalil said that she had given Lebanese authorities all the documents proving that Abdullah had not left Yemen until September 2014 where he was a university student at the time.


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