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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Government Releases Photos of Saddam's Sons

Aired July 24, 2003 - 11:11   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: I'm going to go over now to Baghdad, to Nic Robertson, who has been on standby now that these photos have been released.
Now that they're out, what can you say from Baghdad?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Leon, I have been watching them here with an Iraqi colleague, and for us, it's difficult to see, the pictures seem very dark and difficult to make out exactly who they are.

My colleague here suggested that perhaps one of these people might have, in fact, been Qusay's bodyguard and not Qusay himself. That's because the pictures, at least that we were able to see them today, are somewhat dark, so perhaps for other Iraqis watching, it will raise questions in their mind because there's not 100 percent clarity in these pictures, but they certainly are beginning to be viewed around Baghdad. We certainly hope to be getting more opinions from other Iraqis soon as they get to see these pictures, but the first look that we've been able to see from here at least, the pictures are a little dark, and there's a question mark on one of those pictures, at least, if, in fact, it shows Qusay or his bodyguard at this time -- Leon.

HARRIS: All right, Nic, if you could clarify for us, when you say there's one question about whether it's a bodyguard or Qusay, you're saying that about not the gentleman with the shaved head, you're saying this at least about one of the images with the man with the full head of hair?

ROBERTSON: Yes, that's correct, Leon. I think we will have to spend more time looking at these pictures, and more time with other Iraqis getting their opinions, as well. But the first indication here, the first indication watching it with an Iraqi colleague, he did have questions in his mind about some of the pictures, and were they Uday and Qusay, or was there somebody else there as well? Of course we know four people did die in this particular incident, but perhaps, and again, as I say, we must speak to more Iraqi people and get a broader range of opinion, but at this time, perhaps the darkness of some of these pictures will raise some question marks with other Iraqis.

HARRIS: Understood. That will remain to be seen.

Nic, I know it has only been a couple minutes, but have you or any other colleagues there had an opportunity yet to monitor any of the other Arab networks to see whether or not they are carrying these pictures, and if there's any commentary, along with the pictures?

ROBERTSON: Iraqi Television has been showing these pictures. Now Iraqi Television is, of course, run by the Coalition Provisional Authority. They've been airing the pictures here in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, where the service can be picked up.

The regional broadcasts -- there's Al Arabiya (ph), Al Dubai station, Al Jazeera as well, have shown these pictures, and of course many people here who have access to satellite television now do watch those services. So they will have seen. We haven't yet been able to analyze the commentary, and I'm just hearing a couple more gunshots in the background, perhaps some more of that celebratory fire, Leon.

HARRIS: And, Nic, I should advise you and the audience right now that what they're seeing right now is the picture coming in now on Al Jazeera. This would confirm what Nic is saying here. I am not sure if you have been able to confirm this with your own eyes, but as you see here, these are the images that are being transmitted right now over the Al Jazeera network. You can probably make out their logo in the lower right hand of their screen just right above the readout of the market numbers right there. There it is, the market numbers have gone. There you see the Al Jazeera logo. So this does confirm that these images are being transmitted throughout the region on Arab networks.

And as Nic Robertson was just saying, it remains to be seen what the reaction is going to be now that these pictures have been released and are now being transmitted, as we said, throughout the region.

Well, Nic, let me ask you, as your colleagues there join you in watching this, I'm wondering, since it only took a matter of minutes for the gunfire to start there, once we started reporting here on this network that these men actually had been shot and killed a couple of days ago, 48 hours ago, almost to the moment right now, no reaction to this point so far there.

ROBERTSON: Just a few gunshots heard so far. A lot of people here had said, had expressed that they would like to see the evidence, that they were concerned that these were perhaps rumors, or that these pictures will now help to confirm that for people. Other people, very interestingly, Leon, have said, look, we would have rather seen these people in court, we would have rather seen them stand trial. We would have rather all their misdeeds came out, made public, we would have rather the world knew how bad they were.

And some people have expressed that to us about Saddam Hussein now. were. They say, look, we think it's better that he gets put in court, put on trial, that everyone gets to see that justice is done, and everyone gets to see how bad he is. There's also a feeling and opinion here that people like this perhaps should be captured in the future and go on trial -- Leon.

HARRIS: Yes, and that's totally understandable, Nic, considering just how long those people in Iraq had lived in fear of this family. Perhaps they won't get the sense of closure in watching them stand trial for this, but at least with these pictures they will know in their hearts and in their heads that these men did not die a peaceful death for sure.

Thank you very much, Nic.

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