By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer
UNITED NATIONS – A British lawmaker on Monday handed chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix what she believes is evidence of two sites where Iraq has hidden material used to make weapons of mass destruction.
Baroness Emma Nicholson, a member of Britain’s House of Lords and the European Parliament, said she also gave Blix a form showing that Iraq as recently as last month was trying to order materials that could be used for banned weapons.
“This information has come from inside Iraq in the last few days and has not been given to anybody else before,” she told reporters after a private meeting with Blix and eight other members of the European Parliament.
Ewen Buchanan, Blix’s spokesman, said: “We did receive some information from her, and it will be evaluated. It was received in confidence and will not be disclosed.”
Iraq’s U.N. Ambassador Mohammed Al-Douri, when told of the possible evidence, said: “Certainly he (Blix) will instruct his people in Iraq to see whatever they might find in these sites. We have to wait a little bit.”
Nicholson is a member of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs committee, its investigator on Iraq, and a longtime advocate for human rights in Iraq.
She established a humanitarian aid foundation in 1991 – which now has a staff of 270, nearly all Iraqis – to help southern Iraq peoples forced to leave marshlands near the Iranian border in what she contends is a “genocide” committed by Saddam Hussein.
“The evidence I gave to Dr. Blix identified at least two places where weapons of mass destruction materials are stored as my informant told me, places that have not been identified before, and other associated material,” Nicholson said.
She also said she gave Blix an order form, which she believes is valid, showing the Iraqi government was ordering “a form of tubing” from “the Far East” that could be used to make weapons of mass destruction.
Nicholson refused to give any further details. She said she gave the information only to Blix, who assured her he would protect her informants.
“I put one name in my documentation only, but I have others in reserve,” she said. “And now that I have the confidence that (Blix) can protect these people – because they are at grave risk by giving in this information – I will be able to give him more information immediately.”