Lebanon News

Rai to intervene to release former Iraqi minister

Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai heads a Muslim-Christian summit in Bkirki, Monday, Sept. 24, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai will intervene to secure the release of the former Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz at the request of his son, Al-Markaziah News Agency reported Monday.

Ziyad Tariq Aziz visited Rai in Bkirki and asked the prelate to intervene and ask that Iraqi authorities release his father, who he said was in critical condition due to old age.

The son also said his father, the only Christian who was part of Saddam Hussein’s inner circle, was in a coma state.

Aziz also relayed to Rai a message from the Iraqi Chaldean patriarch, who the son said had visited the former Iraqi official in prison.

Rai promised Aziz to intervene once again - the Lebanese patriarch had pleaded to Iraqi authorities to release the official during his visit to Baghdad in 2011.

Despite repeated calls to release Aziz, who was sentences to 15 years in prison for crimes he committed during Saddam’s reign, Iraq has refused to set him free.





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