Monday, August 08, 2005

Saddam's family sacks foreign legal team

The family of ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has sacked all members of his foreign defence team and would deal only with his Iraqi lawyer.
Saddam, who was ousted in April 2003 after the US-led invasion of Iraq and captured the following December, is in US custody near Baghdad awaiting trial on charges of crimes against humanity.
No trial date has yet been set.
"From today, none of the lawyers, except Iraqi lawyer Khalil Dulaimi, will have the right to act on behalf of Saddam," according to a statement from the family signed by Saddam's daughter Raghad.
"They used their position to further interests not linked to the case," the statement said.
A member of the Amman-based defence committee, Issam al-Ghazzawi, said the family's decision may be linked to the number of public declarations by various lawyers about Saddam's case.
"Defence committee members do not have the mandate to plead Saddam's case in court, but will offer legal advice and support, nothing more," he added.
The committee, which has about 20 active lawyers, does not recognise the competence of the Iraq Special Tribunal to try Saddam.
Last month, the court filed the first charges against Saddam over the 1982 killing of 143 residents of the village of Dujail, north-east of Baghdad, where he had been the target of a failed assassination bid.

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