Ex-Saddam official freed from kidnappers

A former official of Saddam Hussein’s regime has been released by Greek policeman after being held hostage and tortured in Athens for several days by a group of Iraqis who wanted $30,000 in ransom. The unnamed man’s wife informed the Greek Embassy in Baghdad on September 18 that he had been kidnapped and that his captors wanted the money within four days. Officers of the organized crime squad tracked the man down to an abandoned property in Gazi, which they raided on Thursday afternoon. Four Iraqis, aged between 25 and 38, were arrested on the scene. Police said the victim, 55, had been tied up and severely beaten. The 55-year-old had been passing through Greece on his way to Belgium, where he hoped to claim asylum, but was recognized in Omonia Square by Iraqis who were opposed to the Saddam Hussein regime, officers said.

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