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Saddam defense joined by former US AG Clark set to seek new adjournment

[JURIST] Lawyers for Saddam Hussein, reinforced by the late addition of Johnson-era US attorney general Ramsey Clark [Wikipedia profile] and former Qatari justice minister Najib al-Nuaimi, said Sunday that they would ask for another adjournment of the ousted Iraqi dictator's trial [JURIST news archive] when the proceeding resumes in a fortified Baghdad courtroom Monday. The trial was initially adjourned [JURIST report] soon after Hussein made his initial appearance before the Iraqi High Criminal Court - formerly known as the Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website] - on October 19 when defense lawyers asked for more time to prepare their case. Clark first joined Hussein's Jordan-based defense team [JURIST report] late last year before it was radically trimmed [JURIST report] by his daughter Raghdad in August. Since serving in the Johnson Administration from 1967-69, Clark has become widely known for his criticism of the US government, political activism and representation of various high profile defendants, most recently Slobodan Milosevic, still on trial at The Hague. It is not yet clear if presiding Chief Justice Rizgar Mohammed will let Clark and al-Nuaimi appear or speak in Monday's proceeding. Meanwhile, Iraqi authorities said Sunday that they had arrested 12 Sunnis in Kirkuk "linked to the Iraqi branch of Al-Qaeda" who "confessed under questioning" to participating in a plot to assassinate chief investigating judge Raed Juhi later this week. Juhi, the first of the judges in the Saddam trial process to reveal his identity publicly, has already survived one attempt on his life and is closely guarded. Reuters has more.

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