Saddam 'overjoyed' when Spain left Iraq
1 March 2005, TOKYO-Saddam Hussein was overjoyed when he learned that Spanish troops had left Iraq, a spokesman for the former dictator’s legal team said. Jordan-based lawyer Ziad Khassawneh said the ousted president who was captured by US forces in December 2003 "has good health now" but was "isolated from the whole world."
1 March 2005
TOKYO-Saddam Hussein was overjoyed when he learned that Spanish troops had left Iraq, a spokesman for the former dictator’s legal team said.
Jordan-based lawyer Ziad Khassawneh said the ousted president who was captured by US forces in December 2003 "has good health now" but was "isolated from the whole world."
"He is now in a very small cell. He is not allowed to meet either his attorneys or his family," Khassawneh said on a visit to Japan.
"He doesn't have any TV, no radio and he is not allowed to read newspapers.
He knows nothing about what is going on in Iraq or the world," he said.
Saddam last met his defence counsel in December and conveyed his greetings to all "free people" of the world "and especially to France and Germany," which were staunch opponents of the war that toppled him, Khassawneh said.
Saddam voiced his joy during the four and a half hour meeting when he was told Spain's new government had left the US-led military coalition in Iraq.
"He was very happy to know that Spanish forces had left Iraq," Khassawneh said.
Spain withdrew its 1,400-strong contingent from Iraq in April-May last year.
Saddam and 11 senior aides first made court appearances last July when they were told they were being probed for crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes. It is not clear when he will go on trial.
After he was caught hiding in a hole, the man who ruled Iraq with an iron fist for 24 years was shown in US military footage having his unkempt hair checked for lice and his teeth examined by a US doctor.
Khassawneh said US authorities had refused the defence team's requests to send its own doctors to examine Saddam.
He quoted Saddam as telling the lawyers in December, "I take medicine very carefully."
Khassawneh said defence team member Ramsey Clark, the former US attorney general turned left-wing activist, was trying to pressure US authorities to allow Saddam to meet his lawyers again and his family but that so far there had been no positive response.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news