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Saddam Hussein's Lawyers May Challenge Tribunal --> 14 October 2005 -- A lawyer for Saddam Hussein says the ousted leader's defense team may challenge the legitimacy of the tribunal set to try him in Iraq.

Abdel-Haq Alani, an Iraqi-born lawyer involved in Saddam's defense, said the tribunal "was drafted by an occupying power." He said the judicial panel has no legal rights to judge under international law.

Alani spoke in a broadcast interview (on the BBC) that aired tonight.

The trial is scheduled to start on 19 October in the heavily guarded Green Zone in Baghdad.

The case centers on the role that Saddam and his co-defendants played in a 1982 massacre of 143 people in Dujail, a mainly Shi'ite Muslim town north of Baghdad.

Alani said the leader had simply signed off on sentences handed down by the court system.


See also:

Saddam Hussein's Trial Could Draw Line Under An Era

For the latest news and analysis on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".