Tariq Aziz admitted to hospital after fainting

Tariq Aziz, Iraq's deputy prime minister under Saddam Hussein, was admitted to a US military hospital after fainting while in prison, his lawyer said Saturday. Badee Izzat said Aziz was flown Tuesday to the hospital at the large US military base in Balad 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Baghdad after he repeatedly fainted in the US-run detention facility near Baghdad airport where he is being held. Aziz had served as Saddam's foreign minister for many years before becoming deputy prime minister, and he was the public face of Iraq under the former dictator to the outside world. He surrendered to US forces in Baghdad shortly after the Saddam regime was topped in 2003. Aziz was taken to the hospital in Balad a day after he was due to appear before an investigative judge for questioning on the murder of Muslim clerics in following the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait, according to Izzat. The lawyer said he believed Aziz had been returned to prison on Saturday but that could not be confirmed.