Iraqi judge frees Saddam loyalist

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The Independent Online

The Iraqi government has released from prison a top Saddam Hussein loyalist after he was found innocent of helping the former regime punish opponents by draining the country's fabled marshlands, a judge said yesterday.

Khamis Sirhan al-Muhammadi was recently released from a prison just outside Baghdad after being cleared of the charges in the marshlands draining case. The trial ended this week. Mr Muhammadi was the only one to be freed of the 32 defendants tried in the case, some of the others were sentenced to death by execution.