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Iraqi court 'dysfunctional', Saddam lawyers say

[JURIST] Recent delays in the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive] have created a "dysfunctional court" that is incapable of conducting a fair hearing, members of Hussein's legal team, including former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark [JURIST news archive], asserted Wednesday. Clark added that a trial that is seen by Iraqis as unfair would cause "real misery" throughout the country, while Hussein's chief Iraqi lawyer Khalil al-Dulaimi said he "expects the court to collapse very soon." The sentiments of Hussein's lawyers are echoed by many Iraqi citizens, who have condemned the delays [AP report] as either a governmental cover-up or an attempt by Hussein to make a mockery out of the new judicial system. The Iraqi High Criminal Court - formerly the Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website] - opened proceedings in the trial on October 21, but has so far progressed little due to delays caused by outbursts from Saddam, the assassination of two defense lawyers and the resignation of the chief judge [JURIST report]. The trial had been scheduled to resume Tuesday, but was delayed again [JURIST report] because, according to the court, witnesses were unavailable. Several judges, however, told the media that disagreement over who should replace the chief judge [JURIST report] was the reason for the postponement. AP has more.

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