A nephew of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein who is wanted by Iraq for membership of a terrorist organization has claimed asylum in Austria saying he feared persecution, Austria's interior ministry said on Friday.
A MAN claiming to be the fugitive nephew of late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has requested asylum in Austria after being picked by police in a routine identity check, media reports say.
Police spotted the 42-year-old man in the company of two other Iraqi men on Thursday at the train station in Traiskirchen, some 10km south of Vienna, Austrian broadcaster ORF reported.
Bashar N. has been on an Iraqi wanted list since 2006, the spokesman said, but added that he was not under arrest. His identity was established by fingerprints.
Asylum proceedings are now under way in Austria, the spokesman said. Regardless of his origin, everyone has a right to a legal process.
Kronen Zeitung said an international warrant was out for the man's arrest amid long-standing efforts by the Iraqi authorities to bring the relatives of Saddam Hussein to justice.
The daily Kronen Zeitung named the alleged nephew as Bashar N who has been on a wanted list since 2006.
One of the men later told Austrian police he was a nephew of Saddam Hussein, Grundboeck said, adding that the man's request for asylum was being examined.