Saddam Hussein's nephew claims asylum in Austria


A nephew of Saddam Hussein, wanted in Iraq for membership of a terrorist organisation, has claimed asylum in Austria saying he feared persecution, Austria’s interior ministry said yesterday.

A spokesman for the ministry said the 42-year-old, whom they named only as Bashar N, had been detained without identity documents on Thursday in the town of Traiskirchen, a well-known centre for asylum seekers since the cold war, along with two other people.

Bashar N has been on an Iraqi wanted list since 2006, the spokesman said, but added that he was not under arrest.

His identity was established by fingerprints. “Asylum proceedings are under way,” the spokesman said. “Regardless of his origin, everyone has a right to a legal process.” Bashar N said he arrived by plane from Turkey on a false passport. – (Reuters)