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Saddam insists trial should remain in Iraq, defense lawyer says

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein has rejected a suggestion from his lawyers to transfer his trial [JURIST news archive] out of Iraq, claiming "I was born in Iraq and I want to die there," according to Jordanian lawyer Salah al-Armuti in an interview with the Al-Sharqu Al-Awsat newspaper. Hussein's lawyers have repeatedly condemned the Iraqi High Criminal Court [JURIST news archive] trying Hussein as illegitimate because US authorities helped create it. In a report to the UN Human Rights Commission earlier this month, UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers [official website] Leandro Despouy also questioned [JURIST report] the legitimacy of the tribunal and suggested Hussein should answer to an international tribunal with the cooperation of the UN instead. The UN refuses to support the current tribunal partly because of concerns about partiality and the prospect of the death penalty against defendants.

The Iraqi High Criminal Court is in the process of trying Hussein and seven former aides on crimes against humanity charges for the killing of 148 Shiites [JURIST report] in Dujail in 1982. The trial is currently adjourned until April 5 [JURIST report]. AFP has more.

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