Amman, Asharq Al-Awsat- A Jordanian official denied reports that the Jordanian government had taken custody of Raghad Hussein, daughter of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, in order to hand her over to the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), at the request of Iraqi authorities.
The Jordanian official, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Raghad, her sister Rana, and their children, have been under the hospitality of Jordanian King Abdullah II, since they sought refuge in 2003 after the fall of Baghdad to U.S. forces. He pointed out that Raghad remained in ‘custody’ under the rules and principles of hospitality. She does not engage in any political activity against anyone within the Jordanian political arena, and that she is sponsored and hosted by the Jordanian state. He stressed that the occasional talk of handing her over to the Iraqi authorities, or the international police, was nothing more than a ‘storm’, raised by some in order to influence relations between Jordan and Iraq, which have begun a remarkable improvement in both an economic and political sense.
Raghad currently lives in Amman with her five children, two sons and three daughters, and her sister Rana, while their mother Sajida Khairallah, and Sadam Hussein’s third daughter Hala, live in Qatar. She last made a public appearance at the Trade Unions Convention in Amman, during a popular demonstration to mourn Saddam Hussein on the eve of his execution. She also helped to assemble a defence body for her father during his trial, which ended with his execution by hanging, in December 2006.