Saddam legal team trimmed to single lawyer as Jordan-based defense dissolved

Saddam legal team trimmed to single lawyer as Jordan-based defense dissolved

[JURIST] The family of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] said in a statement Monday that they have granted Khalil Dulaimi, an Iraqi lawyer already serving on his defense team, the exclusive right to represent the deposed Iraqi president, dissolving his earlier Jordan-based legal team. Dulaimi previously demanded that the Iraqi Special Tribunal (IST) punish a man for an alleged assault [JURIST report] on Hussein that took place at a hearing. Both the tribunal and the US deny such an incident occurred. No elaboration on the reasons for Dulaimi's selection was given in the statement disbanding the original legal team [AP report] which included former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark. BBC News has more.

In another development in the Saddam proceedings Monday, IST Judge Munir Hadad told Arabic television reporters that the trial of the former dictator will begin within two months. Hussein will be tried with a number of crimes, the first of which will be a case that centers on the 1982 execution of 150 Shiite men and youths in the town of Dujail [CBS news overview]. The incident occurred after Hussein escaped an assassination attempt in the village, and is expected to be a relatively easy win for prosecutors in light of pending genocide charges. If convicted, Hussein could face the death penalty. Reuters has more.