Iraq orders seizure of Saddam-era assets

Iraq orders seizure of Saddam-era assets
Iraq's government has ordered the seizure of assets belonging to Saddam Hussein's family and Baath Party officials.
2 min read
05 March, 2018
Saddam Hussein's family are on the list [Getty]

Baghdad has ordered the seizure of assets that belonged to Iraq's former dictator Saddam Hussein and thousands of his officials, an official statement said Monday. 

An Iraqi agency charged with tracking down former officials from Saddam's Baath party - including their relatives - drew up the list and follows an earlier request by the Baghdad government.

It follows a letter sent by the Accountability and Justice Committee to the prime minister's office along with other ministries, urging the government to seize assets of Baath-era officials.

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

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

He was hanged in 2010, while Saddam Hussein was executed in 2006.

Veteran Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz who held the post of deputy prime minister before Saddam was ousted in the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq, is also named in the letter.

Aziz was sentenced to death in 2013, but died two years later in prison.

His son Ziad condemned the letter saying it was nothing more than "a stunt to win votes" ahead of Iraq's 12 May legislative election.

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

He denied that his family had any assets, saying his father's house in Baghdad was seized by prominent Shia politician Ammar al-Hakim.

In February, Iraqi authorities published lists of names of people wanted on suspicion of belonging to the Baath Party, the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda.

Also included was Saddam's daughter Raghad, who lives in Jordan.

Tareq Aziz,