22. 06. 12. - 16:44
Saddam Hussein nephew claims asylum in Austria
The Interior Ministry has confirmed that a nephew of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has applied for political asylum saying that he feared persecution back home.
The 42-year-old man, whom they named only as Bashar N., had been detained without identity documents on Thursday in the Austrian town of Traiskirchen, a well-known center 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 now under way in Austria," the spokesman said. "Regardless of his origin, everyone has a right to a legal process."
Bashar N. said he had arrived by plane from Turkey using a false passport, which had then been taken away by the people smuggler who had helped him, according to the spokesman.
He is being held at a secret location for his own safety.