|Tariq Azziz and Saddam Hussein; Tariq in prison/UK Guardian|
Tariq Aziz is slumped on a tattered brown sofa seat cradling his walking stick and cigarettes, his gaunt face topped, incongruously for a practising Christian, by a Muslim prayer cap. It is perhaps only the familiar black-ringed spectacles that signal to the visitor that this was Iraq's former face to the world – Saddam Hussein's right-hand man, his most powerful deputy.
Apart from his captors and lawyers, Aziz, says he has not seen or spoken to a foreigner since the fall of Baghdad. But after years rotating between solitary confinement and a witness box in court, he is now more than ready to speak.
"It's been seven years and four months that I have been in prison," he told the Guardian. "But did I commit a crime against any civilian, military or religious man? The answer is no."
Iraq has been through hell since Aziz was last seen in public, days before Baghdad fell in April 2003, toppling
Hussein and the totalitarian Ba'athist regime that Aziz had helped lead for 30 years.
In his first face-to-face interview since then, Aziz seemingly longed for the old days, while at the same time calling on the US president, Barack Obama, not to "leave Iraq to the wolves".
(click here for the full story on the UK Guardian website)