Iraq releases former top Saddam loyalist

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi government on Wednesday released from prison a top Saddam Hussein loyalist after he was cleared of charges of helping the former regime punish opponents by draining the country's fabled marshlands.
Khamis Sirhan al-Muhammad was No. 54 of 55 on a former US military list of most-wanted Saddam officials. He was a Baath Party regional chairman and militia commander from Anbar Province.
A spokesman for the Iraqi High Tribunal, Judge Mohammed Abdul-Sahib Yaseen, said Wednesday that Muhammad was recently released from a prison just outside Baghdad. He gave no details.
Muhammad was captured in January 2004.
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