Iraq's Kuwaiti ‘Puppet’ Minister Denies Treason Charges

Published May 21st, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

A man who was appointed Kuwait's “puppet” prime minister by Iraq after it invaded the country in 1990, appealed Saturday his death sentence for treason, said AP.  

A court sentenced Alaa Hussein on May 3, supporting a ruling handed down in absentia two years after the 1991 Gulf War.  

"I am innocent," the 41-year-old former reserve army officer was quoted as telling the appeals court in its first hearing of his appeal.  

"If I believed for a moment I was a traitor, I wouldn't have come back," he said, added AP.  

Hussein fled Kuwait after US-led forces drove out the Iraqis and lived in Iraq, Turkey and Norway before he returned with his four children in January. He said he had no idea why Iraq chose him from among hundreds of Kuwaiti prisoners to head the interim government.  

The agency said that Hussein repeated Saturday what he said in the criminal court: He accepted the post because he feared for his life and Iraqi officials threatened they would have him killed if he tried to return home after the war.  

The puppet ministers in Hussein's government, also Kuwaiti prisoners, were permitted by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to return home after the war and were acquitted of any wrongdoing by Kuwait, said AP.  

Several of them testified that Hussein seemed to take his job seriously and threatened to kill them if they didn't obey him. None supported his claim that he was prevented from leaving Iraq with them.  

The trial was adjourned until May 31st – Albawaba.com  

 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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