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Saddams lawyers: “We dont know where he is”

Al Jazeera | March 30 2005

FLASHBACK: Saddam To Be Held In Cage During Trial

FLASHBACK: Iraqi judges rehearse Saddam trial

Lawyers defending Saddam Hussein at his forthcoming trial stated on Tuesday that they have been denied access to the toppled Iraqi leader and that they don’t even know where he is.

"We have no access to Saddam nor the other Iraqi leaders who are in captivity and awaiting trial. We do not even know where they are, or even which country they are in. Nor do we know when or where the trial might be," said M Matthew Fautin, a lawyer from Rheims.

"We have been trying so far without success to put pressure on relevant officials so that we can see our clients and be briefed by them."

"This is hardly a good example of Western justice. It is scandalous that their lawyers cannot talk to them," Mr. Dalyell, MP for Linlithgow said.

Earlier, one of Saddam’s lawyers condemned plans to try the former Iraqi President in a U.S.-funded special court, saying it is illegitimate.

Ziad Al Khasawneh, who heads a committee set up to provide Saddam’s legal defence, said that the special court doesn’t meet the requirements for a fair and safe trial.

In July 2004 Saddam and 11 of his associates appeared before the Iraqi Special Tribunal to face preliminary charges for their activities during the toppled regime.

According to Iraqi officials, the trial of Saddam Hussein and some of his associates will start this Spring.

Last month, The Sun newspaper reported that Saddam will attend his trial in Baghdad confined in a small steel cage.

It said that the former Iraqi president will be sitting in a cage similar to the Iron Maiden which was used to transport the fictional character Hannibal Lector in the movie, Silence of The Lambs.

"Saddam will be housed in an underground cell and will travel to and from the courtroom cage using an elevator".

"While he's in his cell he will be under 24-hour surveillance by security staff who will watch him from behind a ... glass shield."

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