The lawyer for Saddam Hussein said Tuesday he will ask a tribunal for a three-month adjournment of the former Iraqi dictator’s trial for a 1982 massacre.
Saddam and seven senior members of his 23-year regime go on trial Wednesday to face charges they ordered the killings of nearly 150 people from the mainly Shiite town of Dujail following a failed attempt on Saddam’s life.
Khalil al-Duleimi told The Associated Press he would ask during Wednesday’s opening session for more time to prepare Saddam’s defense and arrange for Arab and Western lawyers to join him in the defense team.
The Iraqi Special Tribunal was first established during occupation and later authorized by the post-Saddam Iraqi government, said CBS News foreign affairs analyst Pamela Falk. Hussein’s lawyers are expected to challenge the legitimacy of the court and to assert Hussein’s sovereign immunity, Falk reports.
“The most important aspect of the trial is that it is perceived to be fair and not merely ‘victor’s justice’ but rather have internationally accepted procedures,” Falk said. “The prosecution will have to avoid the pitfall of allowing the trial to be a vehicle for Saddam Hussein to speak publicly and create a voice in Iraqi politics.”