Saddam's lawyers having tough time coming up with rational defense
Three weeks before he is due to stand trial for murder, Saddam Hussein's defense is in turmoil.
The attorney for the deposed Iraqi president says he is only beginning to study the prosecution's evidence of a 1982 massacre and has asked for a delay in the proceedings. Hussein's defense team has been impaired by differences over strategy, limited access to its client, and an internal shake-up that recently stripped four of the five members of their authority to represent him before the Iraqi High Criminal Court.
This week, Hussein's sole designated attorney petitioned the tribunal to postpone the first of the former leader's many expected trials on charges of crimes against humanity. The trial of Hussein and seven former aides is scheduled to open Oct. 19 in a Baghdad courtroom.
Iraqi officials say the worst crimes committed during the 24 years of Hussein's Sunni Muslim-dominated regime, including state-orchestrated massacres of tens of thousands of Shiite Muslims and Kurds, will come to trial in as many as a dozen cases after the Dujayl verdict.