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THE WORLD

Assets of Ex-Iraqi Officials' Kin May Be Seized

August 30, 2003|From Times Wire Services

CRAWFORD, Texas — President Bush on Friday expanded an order that allows the seizure of former Iraqi officials' assets to help rebuild their country, giving the United States authority to confiscate the wealth of their immediate family members as well.

The order allows the government to take control of any property in the United States belonging to family members of 55 ex-officials, including ousted President Saddam Hussein. An earlier presidential order covered only the assets of those officials.

The new directive also allows seizure of entities owned or controlled by the former officials. It does not actually initiate steps to seize such assets.

"The order that I have now issued broadens the scope of persons whose assets may be frozen under those orders by adding the immediate family members of former Iraqi senior officials whose assets may be frozen," Bush said in a letter sent to congressional leaders Friday.

The action makes the earlier order conform with a United Nations resolution, White House Deputy Press Secretary Claire Buchan said.

In the resolution, the U.N. Security Council decided that U.N. member states would freeze the assets of members of the former Iraqi regime as well as their relatives and transfer the properties to the Development Fund for Iraq.

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