Former Prime Minister of Iraq Mustafa al-Kadhimi has claimed that the body of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was “disposed of” near the ex-prime minister’s home in Baghdad after Hussein’s execution in 2006.
In an interview with Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat on Sunday, al-Kadhimi specified that Saddam’s body had been left in an area between his home and that of Nouri al-Maliki, who was prime minister at the time, in the city’s fortified Green Zone.
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The comments came after al-Kadhimi was asked how many times he had seen Saddam.
The ex-prime minister explained that he had seen Saddam for the first time at his court hearing before his death, describing the trial as a “very difficult and pivotal moment in the history of Iraq”.
However, the second time would not be until after Saddam’s execution.
“I disapproved of the act [of disposing his body next to his home], but I saw a group of guards, and I asked them to stay away from the body out of respect for the dead,” al-Kadhimi revealed in the interview.
“Yes, it [Saddam’s body] was brought [outside al-Maliki’s house],” said al-Kadhimi. “Al-Maliki ordered its handover to one of the sheikhs of al-Nada tribe, Saddam Hussein’s tribe, and so it was collected from the Green Zone.”
He added that “[Saddam] was buried in Tikrit. After 2012, when [the area] came under the control of ISIS (ISIL), the body was dug up and moved to a secret location no one knows to this day. The graves of his children were also tampered with.”
Prior to his premiership from May 2020 to October 2022, al-Kadhimi served as the director of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service, and was a known opponent of Saddam’s rule.
In 2003, United States-led coalition forces toppled Saddam’s regime, claiming that the Iraqi president held weapons of mass destruction and maintained a relationship with al-Qaeda, a claim the US never proved.
After being found guilty of crimes against humanity, Saddam was hanged at dawn on December 30, 2006.
Al-Maliki was the prime minister of Iraq from May 2006 to September 2014, and was the official who signed the death warrant of Saddam Hussein.