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Saddam lawyer boycotts tribunal over scuffle

Saddam Hussein’s chief attorney said Tuesday his legal team was boycotting proceedings until a man they say attacked the ex-leader of Iraq at a hearing is brought to justice and the court apologizes.
Chief lawyer for Saddam Hussein to boycott tribunal hearings in Baghdad
Khalil Dulaimi, the chief lawyer for Saddam Hussein, plans to boycott tribunal hearings until a man he says attacked the ex-leader of Iraq at a hearing is brought to justice and the court apologizes.Ceerwan Aziz / Reuters
/ Source: Reuters

Saddam Hussein’s chief attorney said on Tuesday his legal team was boycotting proceedings until a man they say attacked the former Iraqi president at a hearing is brought to justice and the court apologizes.

“As Saddam Hussein’s lawyer and on behalf of all the defense team, we announce the boycott of the Iraqi Special Tribunal until they make a formal apology for the incident and the person who committed that disgraceful act is brought to justice,” Khalil Dulaimi told Reuters Television in an interview.    

U.S. forces guarding Saddam had denied any such attack took place.

Dulaimi, the only lawyer for Saddam present in the room at the time of the hearing, said a man named Tahseen, who he believed was a reserve investigative judge, grabbed Saddam’s arm and tried to attack him.

People in the courtroom intervened and broke it up, he said.

The incident took place at a hearing last Thursday.

After the incident was first reported on Friday, the U.S. military, which is in charge of Saddam’s physical custody, said no such scuffle had taken place. The tribunal also issued a statement denying any incident.

Dulaimi reiterated Saddam’s view that the tribunal had no legitimacy because it was created by the Americans.