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Over 600 lawyers sign up to defend Saddam

December 28, 2003 16:16 IST
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More than 600 lawyers have signed up to defend captive Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, the head of Jordan's Bar Association told the Jordan Times newspaper on Sunday.

Hussein Mjalli said the volunteers had signed up at the association's offices in Amman and that by late Friday 600 lawyers indicated their readiness to be part of a defence team for the former president of Iraq.

"The intention is to form a higher committee for the defence of Saddam, one which will include legal experts from all over the world," Mjalli said.

The general secretariat of the Arab Lawyers' Union was, meanwhile, due to meet on Sunday in Cairo to discuss plans for setting up the defence team, he added.

Earlier this month the Jordanian association sent letters to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and Arab League chief Amr Mussa urging them to ensure that Saddam would be handed to a neutral country or the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The barristers have argued that Saddam should not be put on trial because 'a head of state is immune from prosecution' and that in any case he should be protected from retribution by the United States.


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