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Saddam lawyers file US writ to move trial outside Iraq

[JURIST] A committee of lawyers created for Saddam Hussein's defense team has filed a writ of habeas corpus [LectLaw definition] in the US requesting that he be taken out of Iraq for his upcoming trial, a move anticipated as far back as December [JURIST report]. The committee, led by Ziad al-Khasawneh [Wikipedia profile], argues that a proceeding before the Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website] would be "prejudiced" against the former dictator. Khasawneh has also expressed strong doubts that the trial will take place in the next 90 days [JURIST report] as predicted, since he has been given no information [JURIST report] on the documentation, evidence or charges against Saddam. The committee has challenged the US invasion of Iraq as illegal since no weapons of mass destruction have been found and a connection between Saddam and al-Qaeda has not been proven, so they argue that the Saddam-era Iraqi constitution [text] should stand. Under Article 40 [text] of that document, Saddam can only be tried with the Ba'ath Revolutionary Council's permission, so his lawyers argue that the impending trial should not go forward at all. The committee is made up of 2,500 Arab and non-Arab lawyers, including some from the US. The London Sunday Times has more.

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