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Iraq president criticizes most-wanted list

[JURIST] Iraqi President Jalal Talabani [official website, in Arabic; BBC profile] has criticized Iraq's recently-announced most-wanted list [JURIST report; AP translation], implicitly taking National Security Adviser Mowafaq al-Rubai'i to task for including two women, Saddam Hussein's eldest daughter Raghad and first wife Sajida [Wikipedia profiles]. On Thursday Talabani also expressed disappointment that the list demands the extradition of the 41 fugitives, saying that he would have preferred that the Iraqi courts issue arrest warrants for those connected to Hussein's former regime. Voice of Iraq news agency has more.

Iraqi authorities accuse Raghad and Sajiba Hussein of using secretly-looted money to fund Baathist insurgents. Raghad, now in Jordan, has led efforts to organize her father's legal defense [JURIST report], but is under royal protection in Jordan for "pure humanitarian reasons" [PETRA news agency report]. Former Qatari justice minister Najib al-Nuaimi said Tuesday that any attempt by the Iraqi government to extradite Sajida from her current presumed residence in Qatar would fail [JURIST report].

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