NEW YORK, Oct. 16 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Saddam Hussein’s …

NEW YORK, Oct. 16 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Saddam Hussein’s lead lawyer, Khalil Dulaimi, claims he has not been allowed to properly prepare a case for his client, report Baghdad Correspondent Babak Dehghanpisheh and Senior Editor
Michael Hirsh. “All my meetings with him are being done under severe American
monitoring,” Dulaimi tells Newsweek in the October 24 issue (on newsstands
Monday, October 17). “We’re not even allowed to exchange the legal documents
in the case.”

But Saddam is apparently doing some preparing of his own. According to
Dulaimi, Saddam is studying “a small book of the Geneva Conventions,” the
rules of war that American forces have been accused of violating in Iraq. “He
and millions of Iraqis insist he is the legitimate president,” Dulaimi tells
Newsweek. “He was deposed by an external armed force that was not based in its
aggression on any legal cause or justification.”

In determining his defense strategy, Saddam is also reportedly looking to
other former dictators for inspiration. U.S. officials fear that when he goes
on trial this week for crimes against humanity, he will try to emulate the
grandstanding of Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serb tyrant. “Saddam monitored
Milosevic’s performance at The Hague and was very impressed with it,” says
former U.S. occupation spokesman Dan Senor, who worries that the trial will
“inflame” Sunni insurgents in the short run. Like Milosevic, Saddam plans to
argue that his captors have no right to try him at all. “He thinks that
anything being done under occupation is illegitimate,” says another one of
Saddam’s lawyers, Khamis Obaidi.

While Senor concedes Saddam’s trial could be a “short-term stimulant” for
the insurgency, he also argues that in the long run it will be healthy for
Iraq as past atrocities, like the genocidal gassing of Kurds in the late
1980s, are re-examined. “It will help Iraq go through its own truth-and-
reconciliation process,” he says. “It will bring closure.” /

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