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Hussein lawyers ask International Criminal Court to investigate violations

[JURIST] Lawyers for Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] turned to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Thursday, asking it to investigate alleged violations of law regarding his treatment and that of defense witnesses by US personnel. A copy of the application obtained by AFP argued that the Iraqi trial of Saddam was illegal and that Saddam was "a prisoner of war within the meaning of the Geneva Convention and thus came under ICC jurisdiction as applied to cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and aggression." French Hussein lawyer Emmanuel Ludot [Le Monde interview] said that the "breaches and aberrations," including photos of the former Iraqi leader taken while he was undressed [JURIST report], violated parts of the Third Geneva Convention [text] and could be "considered war crimes." Another member of the defense team, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark [JURIST news archive], has said that US forces must offer Hussein's lawyers more protection to ensure a fair trial.

Last month, defense lawyers accused US and Iraqi officials of illegally detaining four witnesses who testified that chief prosecutor Jaafar al-Musawi had tried to bribe them to testify against Hussein [JURIST report]. American Saddam lawyer Curtis Doebbler claimed [JURIST report] at a Washington press conference less than two weeks ago that there was "an intentional effort...by the United States government to intimidate us and to try to prevent us from even coming to the trial, much less in providing a defense." AFP has more.

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