Tuesday, February 18
Iraqi defence minister 'under house arrest'
Luke Harding, The Guardian, February 18, 2003
Saddam Hussein was last night reported to have placed his defence minister and close relative under house arrest in an extraordinary move apparently designed to prevent a coup.
Iraqi opposition newspapers, citing sources in Baghdad, yesterday claimed that the head of the Iraqi military, Lieutenant-General Sultan Hashim Ahmad al-Jabburi Tai, was now effectively a prisoner in his home in the capital.
The minister's apparent detention, also reported by Cairo-based al-Ahram newspaper, is surprising. He is not only a member of President Saddam's inner circle, but also a close relative by marriage. His daughter is married to Qusay Hussein, the dictator's 36-year-old younger son - considered by many as his heir apparent. [...]