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Iraqi Judge Says Saddam's Morale Has Collapsed

4 June 2005 -- The Iraqi judge assigned to preside over the war crimes trial of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad says that the former president's morale has plummeted.

Judge Raid Juhi told the London-based "Asharq al-Awsat" newspaper in an interview that Saddam and some of the 11 other detained former regime figures are facing 12 cases carrying punishments from life in jail to the death penalty.

The judge said that Saddam has lost morale as he came to understand the extent of the charges brought against him.

Saddam, who is being held prisoner at a U.S.-run detention facility in Baghdad, stands accused of killing rival politicians during his 30-year rule, gassing Kurds, invading Kuwait, and suppressing Kurdish and Shi'ite uprisings in 1991.

Juhi said Saddam's trial is likely to begin within two months.