Iraq orders seizure of assets of Saddam-era officials

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Iraq has ordered the seizure of assets that belonged to executed dictator Saddam Hussein and more than 4,200 officials from his former regime, an official statement said Monday.

The list of ex-regime bosses was drawn up by the Iraqi agency charged with tracking down former officials from Saddam's Baath Party, and includes their relatives.


Saddam's name appeared at the top of the list and it also said it included "his children, grandchildren, relatives".

After the fall of the Saddam regime following the 2003 US invasion, property belonging to the former ruler and his cronies was snaffled up by Iraq's new leaders, armed forces and multiple militias.

This new order now seeks to put an official stamp on the confiscation of the assets.

The list of names includes Saddam-era government ministers, security bosses and officials from the Baath Party, including some who are in prison, who have been executed or have died.

Among those named is Ali Hassan al-Majid, a cousin of Saddam better known as "Chemical Ali", who was hanged in 2010 for ordering the 1988 gassing of thousands of Kurds.

Tareq Aziz, a veteran foreign minister who held the post of deputy prime minister before Saddam was ousted in the US-led invasion, is also on the list.

Sentenced to death in 2013, Aziz, the only Christian in Saddam's inner circle, died two years later in prison.

His son Ziad, who lives in Jordan, has condemned the list as nothing more than "a stunt to win votes" in Iraq's May 12 legislative election.

"We've been subjected to pressure and injustice for 15 years, it's enough," he told AFP ahead of the official announcement Sunday. "When will the spite of this so-called government end?"

Ziad Aziz denied his family had any assets, saying his father's house in Baghdad had already been seized by prominent Shiite politician Ammar al-Hakim.

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