View Full Version : Allawi Trails In Third Place In Poll Update

12-19-2005, 11:15 PM
Allawi trails in third place in poll update


Jonathan Steele in Baghdad
Tuesday December 20, 2005
The Guardian

Former Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi's hopes of taking significant numbers of votes from Iraq's religious parties in last week's election appeared to suffer a major blow last night.

Preliminary results from Baghdad, with 89% of the votes counted, put him in third place with 327,174 votes (around 14%). The group of Shia religious parties, known as the United Iraqi Alliance, had 1,403,901 votes (58%), while the Consensus Front, a coalition of Sunni religious and secular parties, had 451,782 votes (around 19%).

Baghdad is the largest province, with 59 seats in the 275-seat parliament, and the result suggested that the Shia list, which dominates Iraq's current government, will easily remain as the largest party.

Mr Allawi had tried to appeal across the sectarian divide and hoped to do especially well in the capital, which has a large number of mixed marriages and secular professional families.

The results, announced by the election commission, saw the Shia list far ahead in Basra and eight other mainly southern provinces. Kurdish parties were winning heavily in their three northern provinces. No results were released from provinces with Sunni majorities.

Meanwhile, two dozen top officials from Saddam Hussein's former government have been released from prison after being held without charge for more than two years. An Iraqi lawyer who gave the figure said that some of them had already left Iraq.

They included Rihab Taha, a British-educated biological weapons expert, known as Dr Germ for her role in making bio-weapons in the 1980s, and another British-trained woman scientist, Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash.

The murder of a kidnapped American contractor, Ronald Schulz, a former marine, was shown on video footage on a website yesterday even as another hostage, German aid worker Susan Osthoff, 43, was celebrating her freedom in the German embassy in Baghdad. No explanation for her release was offered.

12-19-2005, 11:19 PM
I don't mean to be picky, but wasn't the reason we went into Iraq to make sure that no WMD could be used against the United States? What's to stop those two scientists from developing WMD with countries that actually have the capability of delivering them?

Isn't there a place for people like this? If they were members of an evil regime, what's to stop them from joining another one? Why aren't they being tried as war criminals, etc...?

12-19-2005, 11:19 PM
Unless Saddam really wasn't that bad a guy?

12-19-2005, 11:20 PM
Or, they were forced to work on doing what they did.

12-21-2005, 04:40 PM
U.S. Protecting Released Iraqi Officials

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/iraq_prisoner_release;_ylt=AocKOHih5tzTsAevfDFGYvu s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ--

By SHAFIKA MATTAR, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 11 minutes ago

AMMAN, Jordan - U.S. forces are providing protection for most of a group of top officials from Saddam Hussein's government who were recently released from custody, an Iraqi lawyer said Wednesday.

The officials were freed after no charges were filed against them. They included Rihab Taha, known as "Dr. Germ" for her role in making bio-weapons for Saddam's regime in the 1980s, and Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, known as "Mrs. Anthrax," a former top Baath Party official and biotech researcher.

The lawyer, Badee Izzat Aref, said this week that up to 25 officials were released. The U.S. military confirmed that eight individuals formerly designated as "high-value detainees" were freed Saturday.

Aref said Wednesday that most of those released "are under the protection of the American forces in Iraq until they find a safe haven either in Iraq or abroad."

He did not give details, and it was not clear whether the officials were being kept in safehouses or whether they were elsewhere with American guards.

Aref is the lawyer of Tariq Aziz, Saddam's former deputy prime minister, who remains in U.S. custody, and several other high-value detainees.

Others who were released included Hossam Mohammed Amin, the head of the weapons inspections directorate, and Aseel Tabra, an Iraqi Olympic Committee official under Odai Saddam Hussein, the former leader's son.

Aref, who spoke to The Associated Press by telephone from Baghdad, said other Saddam-era officials are expected to be released soon to bring the total number freed to 65. He said more than 200 senior Saddam regime officials are in detention.

12-24-2005, 10:52 PM
Iraq seeks return of ‘Dr. Germ,’ other suspects
U.S. reportedly released Saddam-era weapons experts


Updated: 6:11 p.m. ET Dec. 24, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq’s national security adviser said on Saturday he wanted to re-arrest Saddam Hussein’s former top weapons experts, as the U.S. military confirmed the release of 14 more high-ranking detainees.

Scientists Rihab Taha and Huda Ammash — “Dr. Germ” and “Mrs. Anthrax” to the Western media — were among eight former senior figures under Saddam freed on Dec. 17. Along with several of the 14 more now technically freed, they appear to be still in U.S. care for their own protection, awaiting flights abroad.

A lawyer for Ammash and others dismissed the announcement of Iraqi arrest warrants as “pure theater,” saying the government had agreed to a deal under which, he said, U.S. forces had freed the 22 Saddam aides on condition they leave the country.

National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie said after he met top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf that he would not accept their being at liberty: “There are warrants of arrest for them issued by Iraqi judicial authorities and if they are released, we’ll arrest them.”

The Shiite Islamist-led government, bolstered by last week’s election success, is clearly eager that supporters see it as being tough on Saddam, now on trial, and his followers. Many minority Sunni Arabs, dominant under the old regime, view the government as vindictive and accuse it of abusing human rights.

U.S. officials have declined formally to name those freed.

“The 22 individuals no longer posed a security threat to the people of Iraq and to the Coalition forces,” U.S. commander General George Casey said on Saturday in a joint statement with the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad.

U.S. forces “therefore, had no legal basis to hold them any longer,” the statement went on, adding: “The detainees have been released in Iraq. We have not transported any of them outside Iraq or provided them with passports or other travel documents.”

Leaving the country
Badia Aref, a Baghdad lawyer, said his client Ammash and the other former prisoners were in the process of leaving the country after being given passports by the Iraqi government on condition they stay away for at least three years.

Dismissing Rubaie’s comments, he said the U.S. authorities, had ruled that the Iraqi cases against the 22 had insufficient basis. U.S. authorities say said they are still holding 65 high-ranking figures, including Saddam, as “high-value criminals” facing trial.

Casey and Khalilzad said: “We have had ongoing discussions over a 14-month period with the Iraqi government about releasing these detainees. The Iraqi Government was informed that the U.S. government could no longer hold these individuals.”

Countering suggestions that the releases were a gesture to Sunnis after they took part peacefully in the Dec. 15 election, the Americans added: “The decision to release them was based on law, not on politics or any other consideration.”

Asked where the freed prisoners were, U.S. military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Barry Johnson said he could not elaborate but added that it was a U.S. responsibility to “safeguard them after their release”.

Thirteen unnamed others are being considered for release, he said. Aref has said his client Tariq Aziz, Saddam’s deputy prime minister and main international negotiator, is among those.

Families of some of those freed had expected them to fly to neighboring Jordan but the Jordanian government has made it clear it is unwilling to play host, even to those in transit.

It appears many are still in U.S. care, possibly at Baghdad airport, where the Camp Cropper jail houses Saddam and others facing trial for crimes against humanity and other charges.

Taha, married to Saddam’s former oil minister, is a British-trained microbiologist and Ammash, a U.S.-trained microbial genetic engineer. Both were detained by U.S. forces in May 2003.

Taha admitted producing germ warfare agents but said all such Iraqi weapons were destroyed. U.S. officials believe Ammash was instrumental in rebuilding aspects of Iraq’s biological warfare production capability during the mid-1990s.

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