Saddam lawyer criticizes Iraqi tribunal as illegitimate

Saddam lawyer criticizes Iraqi tribunal as illegitimate

[JURIST] Ziad al-Khasawneh, head of Saddam Hussein's legal defense team, said Tuesday that plans to try Saddam before the Iraqi Special Tribunal [tribunal statute] are illegitimate. Al-Khasawneh said that the tribunal does not meet the requirements for a fair and safe trial and that he and other members of the defense team have been denied access to Saddam. Al-Khasawneh also said that "We believe Saddam and his colleagues should not be tried by any court," because under Iraqi law in force before the US-led occupation, Saddam and other leaders were immune to criminal charges and therefore are also not liable under international law. The special court issued referrals [JURIST report] Monday for five former members of Saddam's regime who will go on trial for crimes against humanity. No trial dates were provided in the announcement, but there is a minimum 45-day waiting period after a referral is issued before a trial can begin. AP has more. JURIST's Paper Chase has ongoing coverage [JURIST Newsmaker archive] of Saddam's trial.