Saddam daughter disclaims French lawyer

24th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

AMMAN, May 23 (AFP) - One of Saddam Hussein's three daughters denied Sunday that controversial French lawyer Jacques Verges was on the legal team formed to defend the former Iraqi dictator.

AMMAN, May 23 (AFP) - One of Saddam Hussein's three daughters denied Sunday that controversial French lawyer Jacques Verges was on the legal team formed to defend the former Iraqi dictator.

"Mr Verges has not been mandated to defend our father. His style and his defence policy are not in harmony with those of the committee of lawyers we have formed," Saddam's eldest daughter Raghad told AFP.

"We did not choose Mr Verges. It was our cousin Ali Barzan who did that and he has no right to impose him on us."

Verges, 80, is a veteran courtroom performer who has in the past defended Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie and the terrorist known as Carlos.

Earlier this month he said he was filing a lawsuit at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague accusing Britain of war crimes on behalf of "the families of prisoners of the coalition in which Britain participates."

Raghdad Hussein said her mother Sajida Telfah, who lives in Qatar, had told her she had never asked Ali Barzan al-Takriti to choose Saddam's defence team.

Verges, who told AFP on March 29 he had been appointed by Saddam's family to defend him, was not on a list of 20 lawyers, including a number of Arabs and an American announced on May 9 by Jordanien Mohammed al-Rashdan.

Rashdan said the legal team had been nominated by Saddam's wife and his three daughters, Raghad, Rana and Hala.

Saddam has been in US custody since his capture on December 13 and is to be tried at an unspecified date along with other members of his ousted regime by an Iraqi Special Tribunal headed by Salem Chalabi, a 41-year-old Iraqi and member of the New York Bar Association.

The defence team charged in a statement signed by Rashdan on May 12 that Chalabi lacked experience, knowledge of the law or any of the requirements to to be an international criminal judge or even a local judge.

The statement also denounced the continued detention of Saddam, who has been declared a prisoner of war by the US authorities, as a violation of the Geneva Convention.

© AFP

Subject: French news

 

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