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April 12, 2003
 
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(AP Photo)
Saddam's Science Adviser Surrenders
Saddam Hussein's Science Adviser Surrenders, Insists Iraq Has No Weapons of Mass Destruction

The Associated Press


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BAGHDAD, Iraq April 12

Saddam Hussein's science adviser surrendered to U.S. military authorities Saturday, insisting that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and the U.S.-led invasion was unjustified.

Lt. Gen. Amer al-Saadi arranged his surrender with the help of Germany's ZDF television network, which filmed him leaving his Baghdad villa with his German wife, Helga, and presenting himself to an American warrant officer, who escorted him away.

Al-Saadi told ZDF that he had no information on what happened to Saddam and repeated his assertion, made often in news conferences before the U.S.-led invasion, that Iraq was free of weapons of mass destruction.

In Doha, Qatar, the U.S. Central Command said it had no information on al-Saadi's surrender.

The elegant, British-educated al-Saadi is believed to be the first of 55 regime figures sought by the coalition to be taken into custody. He had been wanted because he was a special weapons adviser to Saddam and oversaw Iraq's chemical program in the past. He is believed to have in-depth knowledge of other weapons program as well.

He was among the key figures who worked with U.N. weapons inspectors and often spoke for the Iraqi government in news conferences between the resumption of inspections in November and their end last month.

After Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation to the U.N. Security Council in February, al-Saadi suggested that monitored Iraqi conversations Powell played were fabricated, that defector informants were unreliable, and that satellite photographs "proved nothing."

Al-Saadi had also defended the regime's longtime practice of insisting that Iraqi officials be present during meetings between U.N. weapons inspectors and Iraqi scientists, saying that otherwise the scientists' remarks might be distorted.


photo credit and caption:
Amir al-Saadi, the special advisor for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, speaks to the media in Baghdad, Iraq, in this Sunday, Feb. 9, 2003 file photo. According to German television, al-Saadi is reported Saturday April 12, 2003, to have surrendered to U.S. forces in Iraq. (AP Photo/Samir Mezbane)

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
 
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