Iraq Halts Newspaper Run By Saddam’s Son

By: Bassem Mroue, Associated Press Writer

(AP) Iraq’s Ministry of Information suspended publication Wednesday of a newspaper owned by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s eldest son, accusing it of breaching publication laws.

“The paper was ordered shut down for 30 days for violating the regulations,” an Iraqi official said on condition of anonymity. He declined to give further details.

Media is tightly controlled in Iraq, but this ban was unusual because the Arabic daily is owned by Odai Saddam Hussein, who wields considerable influence in the Iraqi hierarchy and was once thought to be the strongest candidate to succeed his father as president of Iraq.

Babil, established 12 years ago, is one of five Iraqi dailies. It has an estimated circulation of up to 25,000.

Odai Saddam Hussein is a prominent figure in Iraq, regularly writing anti-American editorials in Babil and appearing on television. His media interests include Youth TV. In 2000, he won election to parliament, claiming 99.99% of the vote in his constituency.

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