Lawyer unravels Saddam’s prison escape plot

AMMAN: Deposed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein planned to escape from his US-run prison in 2006 with the help of loyalists, including former bodyguards, according to a book written by one of his lawyers.

“Saddam’s plan to escape prison was supposed to take place in the summer of 2006, with the backing of the Iraqi resistance and a special force of bodyguards,” Khalil al-Dulaimi wrote in Saddam Hussein Out of US Prison: What Happened. “Under the plan, the Iraqi fighters were given orders to attack Baghdad’s Green Zone and the headquarters of the US Marines at the capital’s airport, before raiding his jail” near the airport, according to a copy of the 480-page book obtained by AFP this week.

“He planned to flee to Anbar province in western Iraq to make a quick plan to unify Iraqi resistance groups and carry out an offensive on Baghdad,” Amman-based Dulaimi, himself an Iraqi, said in the book. He said the plan was dropped “after a shooting incident outside (Saddam’s) detention centre, which led to fortifying the facility and boosting security measures.” Six months later, Saddam was dead. He was hanged in December after being convicted of crimes against humanity for the killing of 148 Shiite civilians following an assassination attempt against him in 1982.

Saddam had been captured by US troops in December 2003, eight months after the fall of Baghdad, in a hole on a farm near his hometown of Tikrit.

The book, currently available only in Arabic, was published this year in Khartoum.

The blurb says it reveals “secrets” told to Dulaimi by Saddam about the fall of Baghdad, his arrest and imprisonment, and that it includes “500 letters, poems and other texts handwritten by the ex-president.”