Details emerge of Uday's notorious parties

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The Independent Online

Uday was always the son with the bad reputation. Women, booze, brutality - Saddam's favourite boy once killed a bodyguard - and he it was who boasted that poor Farzad Bazoft, the Observer journalist executed in Iraq, "should have been hanged a thousand times''.

But was he the ladies' man he claimed to be? The US Marines discovered his Baghdad boudoir and its tawdry, semi-pornographic paintings on the wall. But from former members of his own intelligence service have emerged photographs showing Uday in his element: with a gun and with women. Young men and women, apparently guests at one of Uday's reputedly dreadful parties, look on approvingly as he poses with a Kalashnikov rifle.

In another, three girls gaze adoringly at the seated Uday, seated because an assassination attempt left him with weak legs. Another picture shows him watching intently as a girl in a short dress dances for him. None of the women have been identified. But does this reflect the reality of the man who ran the Iraqi Olympics Committee and ordered the torture of his athletes and footballers if they did not win? There are other stories: that his gunmen would kidnap women from the streets, that his father had grown tired of his drinking, drugs and womanising. Some say he was impotent since the attempt on his life.

One of the last official pictures of Uday shows him with his father, shirt hanging out of his trousers, a huge pistol in his belt. And if the women were there largely for show, so was the gun. Uday Hussein, without firing a shot, disappeared with the rest of Saddam's closest family on about 9 April.

¿ "Chemical Ali", Ali Hassan al-Majid, may still be alive, the US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, said yesterday.