Lebanon has extradited a relative of the late, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein over his alleged links to Daesh.
Referred to as Saddam’s “grandnephew”, Abdullah Sabawi was handed over to Iraq on Wednesday, according to an anonymous security source, reported AFP.
The source added: “He is accused of having been a member of IS [Daesh] and having participated in the Speicher massacre” of 2014, in which up to 1,700 Iraqi Shia air force cadets were executed on the banks of the Tigris.
However, Sabawi’s lawyer, Bushra Al-Khalil – who also defended Saddam during his trial in Baghdad, has claimed that her client has no links to Daesh but was extradited to Iraq as part of a political deal with Beirut. According to Al-Khalil, Sabawi was living in Yemen at the time of the Speicher massacre.
“My conscience would not allow me to defend a person who took part in a massacre,” Al-Khalil was quoted as saying by AP, adding that had he been a criminal she would have refused to defend him.
On Saturday, Iraq’s new Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani issued a statement praising Iraq’s Ministry of Interior for repatriating Sabawi “and bringing him before the justice of the Iraqi judiciary to get his just punishment.”
The statement added that Sabawi “was indicted for his participation in the murder of our innocent martyrs from the Speicher base in 2014.”
Abdullah is the grandson of Saddam’s half-brother Sabaawi Ibrahim who was sentenced to death by an Iraqi court in 2009 and remained in prison until he died of cancer four years later. Abdullah’s father, Yasser, is currently in prison in Iraq.