Fact file: Saddam in court

/ Source: msnbc.com staff and news service reports

Trial Details

  • The full trial of Saddam Hussein is not expected to start until 2005.
  • The amount of evidence will likely be huge -- as much as 30 tons of documents.
  • The security adviser says the trial will be aired live on TV and radio.
  • No pictures will be allowed of any of the Iraqi participants -- except for the defendants --to protect them from attack.
  • According to President Ghazi al-Yawer, Iraq's new government has decided to reinstate the death penalty, suspended during the U.S. occupation.

Saddam's Legal Team

  • Saddam's wife, Sajidah, has appointed a team of 20 non-Iraqi lawyers.
  • Iraqi law forbids most foreign lawyers from defending Iraqis without special permission.
  • Currently, only Iraqis, Palestinians and Syrians automatically are allowed to defend Iraqis.

Legal Status

  • Saddam Hussein is in the legal custody of the interim government of Iraq. He is in the physical custody of US military.
  • Saddam is no longer a prisoner of war, no longer covered under the Geneva Conventions. Instead, his treatment must follow current Iraqi law.


  • Saddam Hussein refused to sign a list of charges against him.
  • Saddam identified himself by saying, "I am Saddam Hussein, the president of Iraq."
  • Saddam defended the invasion of Kuwait, saying Kuwaitis are dogs. The Iraqi judge reprimanded him for using such language in court.
  • Saddam was brought to the trial in an armored vehicle. He was handcuffed and had a chain around his waist when he entered the courtroom.
  • Saddam Hussein was born April 28, 1937. He is 67 years old.
  • He became president of Iraq in 1979.

Various sources, including Associated Press.