London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Saddam Hussein’s half brother thanked Saudi King Abdullah and Iraqi President Jalal Talbani for intervening on his behalf so he could receive medical treatment, in two handwritten letters smuggled form prison and seen by Asharq al Awsat.
In his message to the Saudi monarch, Barzan al Tikriti said, “I learnt from my special defense counsel of your true Arab stance to the letter I to your Royal Highness where I explained my dangerous health situation”. He is suffering from spine cancer.
“International law addresses my case and considers the human side. This is what the Geneva Convention has stated on the treatment of prisoners who are terminally ill”, he added.
“On this occasion, I present all my sincerest gratitude and my greatest respect and admiration for your courageous stance. You are a dear brother and a friend by your understanding of my situation in the spirit of true brotherhood and loyalty.”
“I look forward to return this favor and show the same devotion and honesty towards your Royal Highness.”
In his letter to the Iraqi president, al Tikriti said, “I thank you for considering the human side [of my condition] according to what the Geneva Convention stated and the law of social reform on prisoners or those under arrest and terminally ill.” Referring to Talbani’s order for him to receive treatment, al Tikriti urged the president to “accelerate the procedures necessary to send me outside Iraq to receive treatment to cure my dangerous health problem.”
In a letter first published by Asharq al Awsat on 28th October 2005, al Tikriti had urged King Abdullah, Talbani, US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair intervene on his behalf and allow him to be treated for his cancer.
Arrested in Baghdad on 16th April 2003, al Tikri appeared in court in October with Saddam Hussein and six former officials charged with killing 150 Shiites from Dujail, north of the capital, in 1982.
The much feared head of Iraqi intelligence prior to 1984, al Tikriti was Iraq’s ambassador to the U.N in Geneva for 12 tears. He returned to Baghdad in 1999 after a diplomatic reshuffle amid rumors he had fallen out with his half-brother.
Press reports at the time indicated Saddam Hussein placed him under house arrest after al Tikriti refused to pledge his loyalty to the former dictator’s sons Qusay and Uday killed in July 2003.