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Saddam Hussein's morale low


- APP

(Monday, June 6, 2005)

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"The ousted president has suffered a collapse in his morale because he understands the extent of the charges against him and because he's certain that he will stand trial before an impartial court." -Raid Juhi, head of Iraqi Saddam Special Tribunal


Saddam Hussein's morale has plummeted because of the gravity of the war crimes charges he faces, according to comments published from the chief investigating judge trying the former Iraqi president. Raid Juhi, head of the Iraqi Special Tribunal set up to try Saddam, said the ousted president and some of the 11 other detained former regime figures are facing "12 cases" that carry punishments from life in jail to the death penalty. "The ousted president has suffered a collapse in his morale because he understands the extent of the charges against him and because he's certain that he will stand trial before an impartial court," Juhi told the London based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper in an interview.

Saddam, who is being held in a US run detention facility in Baghdad, was captured in December 2003 and charges include killing rival politicians during his 30-year rule, gassing Kurds, invading Kuwait and suppressing Kurdish and Shi'ite uprisings in 1991. No date has been set for the start of Saddam's trial, but Juhi reiterated comments made last week by President Jalal Talabani to CNN that the former dictator was expected to face the tribunal within two months. "In some instances, Saddam will be tried alone and others where he will be tried with former regime figures," he added.

Saddam's lawyer, Khalil al-Duleimi, rejected Juhi's comments, telling The Associated Press that his client was in high spirits and that he was not aware of the 12 cases the judge referred to. "The last time I met Saddam was in late April and his spirits were very high," al-Duleimi said.

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