Former Iraqi defence minister granted immunity

25 September 2003
Former defence minister, Sultan Hashim Ahmed, on 25 September was granted immunity from prosecution by US forces in the country. The deal has been brokered by the US military in the hope that Ahmed will provide information on Iraq's alleged weapons programmes. The news of Ahmed's immunity deal comes days after he surrendered to US forces in northern Iraq (MEED 19:9:03).

The US faced a setback in its search for confirmation of weapons programmes in Iraq soon after Ahmed's arrest. A source leaked that the Iraq Survey Group, which is presently searching for evidence of weapons programmes, will announce in its interim report that no evidence has been found. The news is contrary to information given by a US Pentagon official in early September, who said that evidence of Iraqi preparations to produce chemical or biological weapons had been discovered.

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