Saddam wants me says sacked lawyer

10th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 10 (AFP) - A French lawyer who was part of a defence team for Saddam Hussein sacked by Saddam's daughter this week said the dismissal went against the former Iraqi leader's stated wishes.

PARIS, Aug 10 (AFP) - A French lawyer who was part of a defence team for Saddam Hussein sacked by Saddam's daughter this week said the dismissal went against the former Iraqi leader's stated wishes.

"The president himself expressed several times... his wish to keep a big committee around him, one that is as international as possible, to denounce the Americans' behaviour in his country," Emmanuel Ludot told RTL radio.

He said Saddam made his position known during jail visits by his Iraqi lawyer, Khalil Dulaimi.

Saddam's daughter Raghad on Monday issued a statement on behalf of her family saying: "From today, none of the lawyers, except Iraqi lawyer Khalil Dulaimi, will have the right to act on behalf of Saddam."

She accused the other lawyers in the 20-strong team from several countries of using their position "to further interests not linked to the case."

Ludot said he believed the decision was due to confusion in the family about lack of progress in the case and the belief that "by limiting access to the dossier to a single lawyer, they will get a better hearing."

It was a "false analysis," he said.

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.

A member of the Amman-based defence committee, Issam al-Ghazzawi, said the family's decision may have been linked to the number of public declarations by various lawyers about Saddam's case.

The committee 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, northeast of Baghdad, where he had been the target of a failed assassination bid.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, Saddam Hussein, Iraq, trial

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