Mohammed Rashdan, who heads Saddam Hussein’s defense team appointed by Saddam’s wife, Sajida, said lawyer Ziad Najdawi’s trip to Baghdad, originally scheduled for Sunday, “was postponed for a little while because of technical reasons.”
Rashdan said the defense team canceled Najdawi’s trip after learning of new issues concerning the Iraqi court it wanted to examine before sending the envoy.
He declined to elaborate, but told The Associated Press that the visit “is still on and will take place as soon as possible.” A new date for the visit had not yet been set.
“We will send Mr. Najdawi or a group from the defense team in the appropriate time,” he added.
Earlier Saturday, Rashdan said Najdawi was making the trip to present Iraqi authorities with the power of attorney signed by Saddam’s wife and try to meet Saddam.
“We are trying to move for the defense of Mr. President Saddam Hussein, despite our concern for the safety of our colleague,” Rashdan said earlier. “The trial began, and the president has been denied his legal right to a lawyer, which is in violation of international law and the due process.”
The defense lawyers have claimed that Iraqi authorities have warned them not to travel to Iraq.
On Thursday, Issam Ghazawi, one of the lawyers, said he had received a telephone call from Iraqi Justice Minister Malek Dohan al-Hassan, who allegedly threatened that if the lawyers made it to Baghdad, they “will not only be killed, but cut into pieces.”