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Saddam lawyers say witnesses 'illegally' detained

[JURIST] Defense lawyers in the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive] on Thursday accused US and Iraqi officials of illegally detaining four witnesses who testified Wednesday that chief prosecutor Jaafar al-Musawi had tried to bribe them to testify against Hussein [JURIST report], and that Musawi was present for a 2004 celebration of the Dujail massacre that is at issue in the trial. Musawi has denied any involvement in the 2004 Dujail celebration.

According to a US official close to the trial, the four suspects were not arrested, but they were detained overnight in Baghdad to be investigated for possible perjury. Hussein lawyer Khalil Dulaimi told reporters Thursday that the witnesses were detained to intimidate other defense witnesses from testifying. Hussein and his seven co-defendants are charged [JURIST report] with killing, torturing and illegally detaining Dujail residents in a crackdown prompted by an alleged 1982 assassination attempt against Hussein. AFP has more.

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