Saddam wants Belarus sanctuary

Saddam wants Belarus sanctuary
Saddam wants Belarus sanctuary

Ousted dictator Saddam Hussein has been in negotiations with US forces in Iraq for the last nine days, according to the Sunday Mirror.

Saddam wants sanctuary in the former Soviet republic of Belarus.

In exchange he is willing to hand over details of Iraq's WMDs capacity and his bank accounts, in which it is thought he has stockpiled millions of dollars of ill-gotten cash, the paper says.

US National Security Chief Condoleezza Rice is directing the talks which are led by Ricardo Sanchez, commander of US forces in Iraq, President Bush is up to speed on developments.

US forces received a hand-written note, purportedly from Saddam himself, after the fallen leader's English-speaking representative first demanded to meet with officials at US HQ at Tikrit on September 12.

US forces have been using a British-made Racal military radio, seized from the man, which has been used to exchange messages with Saddam.

A senior Iraqi official told The Sunday Mirror: "A representative of Saddam dressed in Western-style civilian clothes came to coalition people at Tikrit at sunset on September 12. He led them to a house where the security official was waiting.

"The discussions are now going on under the direct authority of General Sanchez. Naturally all the major decisions are being made at the level of the National Security Council, under Condoleezza Rice."

The paper said, quoting a source, that the Bush administration would play along in the hope of pinpointing Saddam's whereabouts. But the word from Washington was "no deal."