[JURIST] Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark [JURIST news archive], now serving as a defense lawyer for ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive], called the trial of the former Iraqi leader "a direct threat to international law, the United Nations, universal human rights and world peace" on Tuesday before demanding that the Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website] transfer the proceedings to a different court. Clark was speaking at a news conference in Washington where he assailed the tribunal as essentially a "sectarian persecution" with Kurd and Shiite judges trying mostly-Sunni defendants. Clark has previously called for the trial to be moved [JURIST report], calling the Baghdad body a "dysfunctional court" incapable of conducting a fair hearing.
If convicted of playing a part in the murderous crackdown in Dujail [JURIST report] following a 1982 assassination attempt, Hussein and his seven co-defendants could face the death penalty. The prosecution is also preparing a second trial in which Hussein will face genocide charges [JURIST report] arising from the killings of over 100,000 Kurds in 1980. Reuters has more.