Iraq takes over Saddam clan's Cannes mansion

19th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

BAGHDAD, March 19, 2007 (AFP) - A luxury mansion on the French Riviera bought by a top aide of Saddam Hussein and used as a bolthole by his feared elder son Uday has been surrendered to the Iraqi authorities, the government said Monday.

BAGHDAD, March 19, 2007 (AFP) - A luxury mansion on the French Riviera bought by a top aide of Saddam Hussein and used as a bolthole by his feared elder son Uday has been surrendered to the Iraqi authorities, the government said Monday.

The lavish estate in Cannes, locally nicknamed Saddam's Villa even though the executed president never stayed there, has been ceded to the Iraqi authorities by Swiss firm Logarcheo which acted for the Saddam clan in its purchase, a statement from the prime minister's office said.

Finance Minister Bayan Jabr Solagh said the 12 million euro (16 million dollar) mansion with its two swimming pools, stunning views and several hundred square metres (several thousand square feet) of grounds was now the property of the Iraqi government.

Logarcheo bought the villa in the 1980s on behalf of Saddam's half-brother and intelligence chief Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, who followed the ousted president to the gallows in January after being convicted of crimes against humanity along with his longtime boss.

Barzan is widely reported to have used the mansion, as did Uday who stayed there when he was sent abroad by his father after killing a servant while drunk.

The villa was among the assets of the old regime frozen by the United Nations. However the title deeds had remained with Logarcheo after the US-led invasion of 2003 left the property uninhabited.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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