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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 August 2005, 17:16 GMT 18:16 UK
Family visits Aziz in Iraq prison
By Caroline Hawley
BBC News, Baghdad

Tariq Aziz at earlier tribunal hearing
Tariq Aziz did not complain about treatment, his daughter said
Relatives of former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz have visited him in jail for the first time since he was detained in 2003.

It is believed to be the first time that any of Saddam Hussein's former aides have been allowed a family visit.

His daughter Zeinab, who travelled from neighbouring Jordan for the meeting, told the BBC he had lost weight and looked old.

But she said he had not complained about how he was being treated.

In May, the Observer newspaper published letters from Mr Aziz written in his lawyer's diary in which he appealed for international help to end what he called "his dire situation".

Secret location

Mr Aziz was the public face of Saddam Hussein's regime abroad and number 25 on America's most-wanted list.

Since his surrender in April 2003 he has been held at a secret location along with other senior members of Saddam Hussein's regime.

His daughter said she did not know exactly where he was being held, because she, along with Mr Aziz's wife, sister and another daughter, had been driven to see him in a bus with blacked-out windows.

She described him as frail-looking, but she told the BBC that he told them he was receiving his medicine for heart trouble and that he had said losing weight was good for him because of his diabetes.

Mr Aziz has not so far been charged with any specific crimes and according to his lawyer has been encouraged to give evidence against Saddam Hussein, whose trial is expected to begin later this year.

The lawyer says Mr Aziz will not do this, but his daughter said her visit had been too short to discuss such issues.

She said he told the family he had done nothing wrong and that they should not worry about him.


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