London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Iraqi President Jalal Talbani ordered the release of Saddam Hussein’s half brother, Barzan al Tikriti from prison to receive treatment for his cancer. The request came in response to a letter published exclusively by Asharq al Awsat in which Tkriti appealed to world leaders to free him.
In a statement broadcast in Baghdad , Talbani said,” The Iraqi President Jalal Talbani, after examining the plea by Iraqi citizen Mr. Barzan al Tkriti, expresses his sympathy to his request, in the name of human rights which call for everyone to receive medical treatment when needed and the historic relations that bind our families together and in respect of the personal friendship between us that existed in the past. The President urges the Prime Minister [Ibrahim al Jaafari] to use all his powers to release Bazan al Tikriti from prison and allow him hospital treatment for his cancer.”
In a letter published by Asharq al Awsat on Friday, Saddam’s half brother pleaded “to President Jalal Talbani in the name of the friendship that binds us, which he announced in 1996 in Ankara in front of television cameras when he indicated he was traveling to Geneva to visit a friend [Barzan Ibrahim al Tikriti]… to work to save the life of his friend who has suffered much because of his opinions.”
He also urged US President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other world leaders to free him from prison.
Arrested in Baghdad on 16th April 2003, al Tikriti appeared in court earlier this month 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 years. He returned to Baghdad in 1999 after a diplomatic reshuffle amid rumors he had fallen out with his half-brother.