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Saudi leader urges Bush to free Saddam half-brother

[JURIST] Saudi Arabia King Abdullah [Wikipedia profile] has urged President Bush to release Saddam Hussein's half-brother from detention because of failing health, Saudi Arabia [JURIST news archive] daily Al-Riyadh reported Wednesday. King Abdullah reportedly sent a letter to Bush asking him to release Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti [Global Security profile], one of seven former officials currently standing trial with Hussein for the killing of 150 Shiites in Dujail in 1982, because he's suffering from an advanced form of cancer, although it is not known when the letter was sent. Iraqi leaders have promised to provide health care [AP report] to al-Tikriti while he is imprisoned, but they did not say whether they supported releasing him from prison. Another Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported last week that al-Tikriti had written to leaders of Iraq [JURIST news archive], Saudi Arabia, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates to ask for help in obtaining his release. Al-Tikriti has said that he was not involved with Hussein's brutal leadership, although he previously served as Iraq's intelligence chief at the time of the Dujail massacre [BBC backgrounder] and as the country's UN ambassador. AP has more.

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