HL BRITON RETURNS TO HOMELAND, WIFE, AFTER IRAQI PRISON TERM
Byline: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
SO THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE (SLTR)
LP LONDON -- Businessman Ian Richter returned to Britain on Sunday after 5 1/2 years in an Iraqi prison for a bribery conviction. "Wonderful, wonderful," Richter said after he embraced his wife, Shirley, on the runway beside the private jet that flew him to Heathrow Airport from Baghdad.
TX After Richter was freed, Britain unfroze $125 million in Iraqi assets to be used for humanitarian purposes and relief supplies. The government denied the assets were released as part of a deal to free Richter. The assets were frozen as part of U.N. sanctions against Iraq following its Aug. 2, 1990, invasion of Kuwait. Richter, released Saturday from the Abu Ghraib maximum security jail in Baghdad, also was greeted by Linda Chalker, a Foreign Office official. The 45-year-old chemical engineer was accompanied by Prince * Sadruddin Aga Khan, a U.N. envoy who had been in Baghdad to negotiate an agreement allowing the United Nations to continue relief work inside Iraq. Richter told journalists before he left Baghdad that "it"s great to be out," but the South African-born water company executive said he did not know why he had been released. "I wouldn"t like to hazard a guess at the moment. You know I"ve been living inside four walls for a long time so I guess people outside probably know more than I do, but it"s wonderful," he said.
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