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Coalition Forces To Amnesty Some Iraqi Prisoners

Baghdad, 7 January 2004 (RFE/RL) -- The top U.S. official in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer (pictured), today said that coalition forces will release some 500 Iraqi prisoners, starting with a group of 100 tomorrow.

Bremer said those released will be set free on the condition that they renounce violence and have a guarantor, such as a prominent person in his or her community or a religious or tribal leader, who will accept responsibility for the conduct of the freed prisoner.

Bremer said the amnesty applies to prisoners who were not responsible for violence.

Bremer also announced new rewards for the heads or the capture of those on the U.S. most-wanted list in Iraq. "We have announced a reward program. We will pay $10 million for information leading to the capture of Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri or information that he is dead. We will also pay $1 million each for 12 other notorious criminals on our blacklist," Bremer said.

Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri was vice chairman of ousted leader Saddam Hussein's Revolutionary Command Council and, since Hussein's capture last month, the most-wanted man in the country.

Bremer said a reward of up to $200,000 is being offered for information leading to the capture of "lesser criminals."

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