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Former Saddam officials released from jail in Iraq

[JURIST] At least 24 former officials from the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] have been released from jail, an Iraqi lawyer said Monday. The former officials released include Rihab Taha [BBC report], the biological weapons expert known as "Dr. Germ", and Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash [BBC profile], better known as "Mrs. Anthrax". Iraqi lawyer Badee Izzat Aref said the decision to release the officials was a US-Iraqi decision and was in line with a December 2004 Iraqi government ruling, which was not enforced until now in an effort to ease political pressures before the country's elections [JURIST news archive]. Aref said that some of the former detainees have already left Iraq due to security concerns. US military officials in Baghdad have confirmed that eight people, previously designated as high-value detainees, were released over the weekend after a board found that they no longer posed a security threat and that no charges would be filed. AP has more.

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