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Saddam Hussein TV Appearance Raises Questions, says British Defense Sec'y - 2003-03-24

Britain says the television broadcast of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was pre-recorded, and questions remain about his fate.

The British defense secretary, Geoff Hoon, told a London news conference that analysts continue to review the Iraqi leader's television address.

"As far as the pictures this morning are concerned, obviously analysis continues. What I can say straight away is that those pictures were not live, and therefore clearly, there is still the possibility of Saddam Hussein's people issuing tape recording," said Mr. Hoon. "We are well aware that he spent many hours recently tape recording various messages. So I think we have to do a little more analysis of what was actually said to see whether or not that was in fact Saddam Hussein."

Mr. Hoon said the military campaign will continue whether Saddam Hussein is alive or dead. Questions have hung over the Iraqi leader's fate since he was targeted in the war's first missile attacks last Thursday.