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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Saddam has seen lawyer only once

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, April 5, IRNA
Iraq Trial-Saddam
The British government has denied that the US has been restricting overthrown Iraqi president Saddam Hussein from legal representation even though he has met a lawyer on only one occasion since his arrest in December 2003.

"The US authorities have told us that Saddam Hussein has seen his lawyer on each occasion that he has made a request. Thus far he has met one lawyer one time for several hours, in confidence," Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell said.

"Neither he nor his lawyer of record has made any further requests to meet. Procedures are in place to allow him to meet lawyer on request," he said in a written parliamentary reply, published Tuesday.

Saddam was reported to have seen a member of his Jordan-based legal team, who have complained that they have no chance of preparing any defence, last December at a secret location in Baghdad.

Rammell confirmed that the US will continue to maintain the physical custody of the former Iraqi president "until such time as the Iraqi Correctional Service is able to provide for his safe and secure detention."
Iraq's national security adviser Mouwaffaq al-Rubaie was reported saying last month that he hoped Saddam's trial will begin "around September, October" this year.

Following his only visit by a lawyer, former US attorney general Ramsey Clark announced that he was joining the defence team, saying his principal concern was the rights of the former Iraqi president.

The team, which is thought to include around 20 prominent Arab and non-Arab legal representatives, who have volunteered to defend Saddam, have warned that without greater access there would be the danger of a miscarriage of justice.

::IRNA No.043 05/04/2005 15:24 --End

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