Last updated: 27 June, 2012

Iraq’s Sadr wants alleged Hezbollah member freed

Powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Wednesday called for the release of an alleged member of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah who is jailed in Iraq.

“He must be released immediately, and the government should do this immediately,” Sadr said in a statement, referring to Ali Musa Daqduq, who was accused of plotting the murder of five US soldiers in 2007.

He was handed over to Iraqi authorities in December as US forces completed their withdrawal nearly nine years after the invasion of Iraq, but his lawyer said in May that an Iraqi court ordered him released for lack of evidence.

At the time of Daqduq’s detention in 2007, the United States accused Iranian special forces of using the Shiite movement Hezbollah to train Iraqi extremists, and US officials are still keen to have him remain behind bars.