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Volume 408: debated on Friday 11 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Ba'ath Party officials have been arrested by allied forces in Iraq; and what assessment has been made of the role of such officials still at large as leaders of Saddam loyalist resistance in Iraq. [124029]

Detentions of senior Ba'ath Party officials by the Coalition continue. Where senior Ba'athists pose a security risk, or are suspected of having been involved in criminal activity, they will continue to be detained by Coalition Forces. Assessments of the role of those still at large, whether involved in resistance against Coalition forces or otherwise, are ongoing.On 16 May, the Coalition Provisional Authority issued an Order disestablishing the Ba'ath Party. This Order removes and bars all members of the Ba'ath Party at the rank of Senior Member and above from positions of authority in the future. All Ba'ath Party members suspected of criminal conduct will be investigated and, if necessary, detained.