French lawyer asks US to helpfund Saddam defence team

11th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 11 (AFP) - A French lawyer chosen by the family of Saddam Hussein as part of a legal team to defend the jailed former Iraqi leader said Tuesday he had asked the United States and the United Nations to help pay the fees.

PARIS, May 11 (AFP) - A French lawyer chosen by the family of Saddam Hussein as part of a legal team to defend the jailed former Iraqi leader said Tuesday he had asked the United States and the United Nations to help pay the fees.

"I knocked on the UN's door to remind them that a trial cannot take place without lawyers," Emmanuel Ludot told AFP.

"And I also filed a request with the Bush administration, as the Americans promised to pay the first 40 attorneys who were retained," said Ludot, the sole Frenchman on Saddam's international defence team.

Jordanian lawyer Mohammad al-Rashdan said Sunday that he and 19 other lawyers, including several Arabs and an American, had been asked by Saddam's wife Sajida and his three daughters to represent the deposed dictator.

Controversial French lawyer Jacques Verges, who has claimed he was hired by Saddam's nephew to represent the former Iraqi leader, was not listed as part of the defence team.

According to Ludot, Saddam's family is in "a delicate financial situation".

"Everyone thinks that there are Swiss bank accounts at the family's disposal, but that's not the case. In any event, the Americans have frozen all the assets," Ludot said.

Saddam was captured by US forces on December 13 and has been in US custody ever since. He is expected to be tried along with other members of his ousted regime before a special Iraqi war crimes court.


©AFP

Subject: French news

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