March 17, 2003
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has put his half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti, an ex-envoy to the United Nations in Geneva, under house arrest after he refused to pledge support for Saddam’s powerful son, Qusay, in the event he succeeds the Iraqi leader, a newspaper claimed yesterday.
Quoting unspecified Iraqi sources, Al-Rai Al-Aam said the row between Saddam and Barzan erupted during a March 5 meeting at which the Iraqi leader quizzed his half-brother, who had good relations with the United Arab Emirates in the past, about a UAE proposal that Saddam step down to avert a US-led war aimed at toppling his regime.
The report, which could not be independently confirmed, said the latter did not comment but when asked what he thought of the possibility of Qusay succeeding Saddam, he replied: “I put up with this situation for more than 20 years because you are here.
“But once you’re no longer around, I will act differently.”
Saddam scolded Barzan, who was intelligence chief until 1983 and Iraq’s envoy to the UN in Geneva from 1988 to 1998, the report said.
Both he and another half-brother of Saddam, former interior minister Watban al-Tikriti, were later placed under house arrest in one of the palaces of the Radwaniya district of Baghdad, it claimed. – Sapa-AFP