WASHINGTON – The head of Iraq's tribunal to prosecute Saddam Hussein (search) is now wanted for murder in Iraq, and the United States, long at loggerheads with his uncle, is taking a hands-off approach to the Iraqi government's charges.
Former Iraqi Governing Council member Ahmad Chalabi (search) is wanted on counterfeiting charges. He and his nephew Salem Chalabi (search) are both outside the country right now, but vow to return and defeat the charges they say are politically motivated.
"The charges are outrageous and false. I deny them, and the judge who made them has a personal vendetta against me and my family," Ahmad Chalabi said Monday from the Iranian capital of Tehran.
The United States is still close to Salem, but cut ties with Ahmad in May after disputes over pre-war intelligence he supplied U.S. officials. Salem Chalabi is named as a suspect in the murder of the director general of the Iraqi Finance Ministry. Salem is now in London.
The United States appointed Salem Chalabi to head up the tribunal set to prosecute Saddam. The United States also appointed the judge who issued the arrest warrants.
Despite the deep links between the United States and all the parties involved, U.S. officials had little to say about the charges.
"The latest investigation is a matter for Iraq authorities to handle," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.
"It's not for me to comment on it," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told reporters.
Click in the video box near the top of the story to watch a report by FOX News' Major Garrett.