Saddam 'giving US details of weapons'

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The Independent Online

Saddam Hussein has given his American captors information on hidden weapons and as much as $40bn (£22.5bn) he may have seized while in power, an Iraqi official was quoted as saying yesterday.

"Saddam has confessed the names of people he told to keep the money and he gave names of those who have information on equipment and weapons warehouses," Iyad Allawi, a member of the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, told the London-based, Saudi-owned daily newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat.

"The Governing Council is searching for $40bn worth of funds seized by Saddam when he was in power and which has been deposited in Switzerland, Japan, Germany and other countries under the names of fictitious companies," he said.

Earlier, Iraq's Finance Minister said his country was to demand $3bn in cash held in Syrian state banks. But a Syrian official said the amount was in the millions, not billions, and Syria's ambassador to the United Nations, Fayssal Mekdad, said yesterday that his country would co-operate in helping Iraq recover any funds.