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Saddam relatives applied for asylum in Sweden

While the US is hunting for close relatives of the ex-dictator Saddam Hussein in Iraq, central family members have allegedly received political asylum in Sweden.

According to the Swedish paper Expressen, two of Saddam’s cousins are allegedly living in a Swedish city. An Iraqi intelligence source, the paper has been in contact with, states that both of cousins left from their hometown Tikrit to Jordan two years ago.

Wanted Sweden
The cousins allegedly realized that they could no long stay in their home country without risking being captured. In the Jordanian capital Amman, they allegedly contacted Saddam Hussein’s former agents to get help to escape. They wished to go to Europe, most of all to Sweden.

«The agents bought two Schengen visas for USD 30,000,» the source said. «Sweden was their first choice because they prefer the country’s humane asylum system.»

The escape allegedly went through another European country.

Risk execution
«They had private family pictures and other documents that confirm that they are Saddam’s cousins,» the source stated, who has been in contact with them. «Saddam Hussein is pictured in most of the pictures. They have gotten political asylum, and lives in a Swedish city.»

The Swedish asylum lawyer Hans Hjelmers said to the paper that Saddam’s relatives most likely have chosen Sweden because they know they can not be sent back to a country where they risk being executed.

Considered individually
The cousins are allegedly wanted both by the US and the Iraqi government. According to Expressen’s source, the cousins were generals in Saddam’s army. They are considered to be among the ex-dictator’s closest allies, and they may have much valuable information.

The paper contacted representatives for the Swedish immigration authorities, but no one wanted to confirm whether or not Saddam’s two cousins had received political asylum. Ulla Petersson Imnell, head of information, said that all applications are considered individually regardless of who they may be.

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