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The World

February 26, 1988

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein pardoned a British businessman sentenced to life in prison after a plea for the man's release from Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. In London, the Foreign Office said John Smith, 46, had not yet been released. "We don't expect it to be too long. There are bureaucratic procedures to complete," a Foreign Office spokesman said. Smith, managing director of the specialist vehicle manufacturer Hestair Dennis, was convicted in 1980 of bribing officials and sentenced to life imprisonment, which in Iraq means 20 years. The Iraqis accused of taking bribes were executed.

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