'Dr Germ' and 'Mrs Anthrax' released from Iraqi jail


'Dr Germ' and 'Mrs Anthrax' released from Iraqi jail 19/12/2005 - 12:48:51

Notorious Saddam-Hussein-era officials have been released from jail in Iraq and some have already left the country, an Iraqi lawyer said today.

A legal official in Baghdad said between 24 and 25 top former officials in Saddam Hussein’s government have been freed, including Rihab Taha, known as Dr Germ, and Huda Salih Ammash, known as as Mrs Anthrax.

The Iraqi lawyer, Badee Izzat Aref, said some of those released were his clients.

“The release was an American-Iraqi decision and in line with an Iraqi government ruling made in December 2004, but hasn’t been enforced until after the elections in an attempt to ease the political pressure in Iraq,” Aref said.

Iraqi officials and the US military did not immediately confirm that information.

Lieutenant Colonel Barry Johnson, the spokesman for the US-led Multinational Force, did say that US officials on Saturday released eight people formerly designated as high-value detainees, after a board process found they were no longer a security threat.

No charges had been filed against the eight, Johnson said. He would not identify them. The legal official in Baghdad, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, said those released also included Hossam Mohammed Amin, head of the weapons inspections directorate; Aseel Tabra, an Iraqi Olympic Committee official under Saddam Hussein’s late son Odai; General Dhiaa Maher al-Tikriti; Ibrahim al-Ani, an intelligence official; and Hamid al-Janabi, a prison director.