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Saddam Hussein Nephew Receives Long Prison Sentence

American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD, Dec. 6, 2005 – Saddam Hussein's nephew -- a former regime insider and once-active terrorist supporter -- was found guilty in a Baghdad court Dec. 5 of illegally crossing the Syrian border without authorization from Iraqi customs.

Aymen Sabawi received a 15-year sentence in addition to the six-year sentence he received during a September trial in which he was found guilty of possessing illegal weapons and manufacturing explosive devices. During his September trial, Sabawi submitted self-incriminating information in his testimony when he spoke of the illegal border crossing, officials said.

The combined sentences mean Sabawi will not be released from prison for more than 20 years, officials said.

Sabawi was apprehended in May by Iraqi and coalition forces near Saddam's hometown of Tikrit. His father, Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hasan al-Tikrit, is Saddam's half brother. He was apprehended in late February and remains in custody awaiting trial.

Officials said Aymen Sabawi and members of his family played a particularly active role in sustaining terrorism in Iraq by providing financial support, weapons and explosives, and that he frequently used neighboring Arab countries as safe havens to plan and launch terrorist attacks.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483 specifically indicted the Sabawi family for stealing millions of dollars from the Iraqi people during Saddam Hussein's regime. Officials believe the Sabawi family used these stolen financial assets to fund terrorism and anti-coalition activities.

(From a Multinational Force Iraq news release.)

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