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Iraqi Security Adviser: Hussein Trial Will Be Fair, Televised Live

Saddam Hussein following his December capture (file photo) 30 June 2004 -- Iraq's new national security adviser, Muwaffaq al-Rubay'i, told the BBC today that the trial of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein will be free and fair and will be broadcast live over radio and television.

Al-Rubay'i said an Iraqi special tribunal would be able to impose the death penalty.

He also said that Hussein would not be allowed to turn the trial into a political game by calling witnesses such as U.S. President George W. Bush or British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

One of Hussein's lawyers, Jordanian Muhammad Rashdan, said the entire court process is illegal. "This is [an] illegal war, and [under] the international law, everything over that would be illegal: the court is illegal, the judges [are] illegal, to appoint the judges is illegal. Everything will be illegal," he said.

Hussein appeared before a judge in Baghdad earlier today after he and 11 members of his former government were transferred to the custody of Iraq's new sovereign government.


[For more on the handover of power in Iraq at RFE/RL's dedicated "The New Iraq" webpage, click here.]