Iraqis denounce 'playboy' Charles

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NICOSIA (AP) - An Iraqi newspaper run by Saddam Hussein's son yesterday described the Prince of Wales as a 'notorious playboy' well known in 'whorehouses throughout Europe'.

The article in the daily Babel scorned the Prince's comments last Wednesday in which he attacked President Saddam for 'unmentionable horrors' against the people of southern Iraq.

Babel accused the Prince of 'lies and tear-shedding over virtuous values, sublime morals and human rights', according to excerpts of the article carried by the state-run Iraqi News Agency.

The newspaper expressed 'surprise and consternation that a notorious playboy well known in the cellars of the night and in whorehouses throughout Europe should suddenly become a preacher of sublime values'.

'Picture Charles . . . shedding tears for the Iraqis while he himself is sinking deep in adultery and family intrigues and while the British papers are publishing a long and endless series of scandals connected with Charles' dissolute life,' wrote the newspaper, which is run by President Saddam's son, Uday.

It was referring to newspaper reports of the Prince's alleged adulterous relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles. 'We in Iraq, who relentlessly fought British colonialism for many decades and offered numerous martyrs to end the British colonialist presence, do not pay any attention to the likes of the British crown prince,' it said.

In the comments he made last week, the Prince urged the West to save the marshes of southern Iraq and their people from further persecution.

'Even at the eleventh hour it is still not too late to prevent a total cataclysm,' the Prince said. 'I pray that this at least might be a cause in which Islam and the West could join forces for the sake of common humanity.'

The Prince rarely makes attacks on foreign leaders.

Iraqi Shia rebels have used the marshes in southern Iraq as a hide-out from President Saddam's forces, which have bombarded the area repeatedly since the end of the Gulf war in 1991 and are draining the water from large sections of the area.