Kuwaiti Paper Ordered to Close Over 'Indecent' Pics of Saddam Granddaughter

A criminal court has ordered a Kuwaiti newspaper closed for three days for publishing what it ruled were "indecent" photos of Saddam Hussein's granddaughter, but the newspaper has appealed, its lawyer said Sunday.

The former Iraqi leader who was hanged last month is hated in Kuwait, the small oil-rich state he invaded in 1990 and occupied for seven months. A conservative Kuwaiti citizen sued the Al-Watan daily after he saw the photos in its July 3 issue because he believed they were indecent and contravene Islamic values, said the lawyer Rashed al-Radaan.

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"There was no criminal intention," al-Radaan said, adding that Al-Watan only wanted to show the public that members of Saddam's family were having fun at swimming pools while he was on trial. The lawyer said he has appealed Saturday's ruling.

One of the color photos shows a girl identified in the caption as the daughter of Raghad Saddam Hussein in a swimsuit hugging a young man in the Qatari capital Doha. The other showed three girls in swimsuits at the edge of a Jacuzzi.

Adopting the practice followed by most papers in Kuwait, Al-Watan blurred areas of the women's bodies not covered by their bikinis, but the court found that the modifications were insufficient to hide what court documents referred to as the "almost nude" bodies.

The court also ordered the editor-in-chief of the daily, Sheik Khalifa Ali Al Khalifa Al Sabah, to pay a fine of 3,000 dinars (US$10,416).

Saddam was executed in Baghdad on Dec. 30 after he was convicted of ordering the killing of 148 Iraqi Shiites in the town of Dujail following an attempt on his life there in 1982.

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