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Iraq`s Saddam-era culture minister released

Hamed Yussef Hamadi, who was a culture minister under Saddam Hussein, has been released after over six years in prison and has left Iraq.



Baghdad: Hamed Yussef Hamadi, who was a
culture minister under Saddam Hussein, has been released after
over six years in prison and has left Iraq, a justice ministry
spokesman and a lawyer said on day.

Justice ministry spokesman Haidar al-Saadi said that
Hamadi had been released, but provided no further details.
Lawyer Badie Aref, who represented 17 Saddam-era
officials, including former deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz,
said that Hamadi was released from detention in Kadhimiyah
prison in Baghdad yesterday, and has left the country.

Hamadi, 72, was arrested on January 24, 2006. During
Saddam`s rule, he served as information and culture minister,
then culture minister after the two ministries were split, and
also as secretary of the presidency.

Deputy Justice Minister Busho Ibrahim said that Hamadi
was charged in the course of several trials of former Iraqi
officials, but was acquitted.

Hamadi was the secretary of Saddam at the time of the
massacre of 148 villagers in Dujail in 1982 after an attack on
the presidential motorcade.

He testified on February 14, 2006 that "I know nothing
about this incident," adding he had never been privy to any of
the security-related communiques directed to Saddam, something
the former Iraqi president had confirmed. (AFP)

PTI

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