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Uday’s hobbies: women, cars and torture

Baghdad, April 17 (AFP): Uday, Saddam Hussein’s elder son, had several hobbies: women, cars, the Internet, jewellery, weapons, the Shia branch of Islam and alcohol.

But he especially enjoyed one hobby: torture.

“He would spend much of his time searching NGO websites for information on the most sophisticated forms of torture, including in Latin America, and when he couldn’t read the Spanish, he would print out the pictures,” one of his former aides said.

He attended torture sessions in a prison 50 km south of Baghdad run by the Fedayeen paramilitary corps he headed, the source said, adding that Uday never practiced torture himself.

On one occasion however, he threw a man who owed him money out of the 14th floor window, said Uday’s aide, who asked not to be named and now lives some 100 km outside the Iraqi capital.

Littering the floor of Uday’s sports centre inside the presidential compound among an impressive collection of fitness accessories are pages and pages printed from Internet sites on torture.

The bombed out palaces Uday left behind him also reveal his obsession with women.

Among the documents found in the sports centre: an e-mail from a Lebanese call-girl agency announcing that the requested seven Czech women were on their way, complete with pictures and an apology for the delay.

“Contrary to what has been written, Uday was never married and he was obsessed with women. If he spotted a woman he fancied in the street or at a reception, he would send his henchmen to fetch her,” said the associate.

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