Special report: Trial of Saddam
BEIJING, Oct. 30 (Xinhuanet) -- Saddam
Hussein's chief lawyer warned U.S. President George W. Bush that
there will be violence in Iraq and the Mideast if the former president is
sentenced to death for genocide charges, according to media reports Monday.
Leading Iraqi attorney Khalil al-Dulaimi warned
Sunday in a letter to Bush that a verdict by the Iraqi High Tribunal against
Saddam and seven co-defendents over the killing of 148 Shiite villagers in the
Iraqi village of Dujail could plunge Iraq and the region into violence.
"This decision will set ablaze anew the country and
plunge the entire region into the unknown..." said he.
A verdict in Saddam's first trial is expected Nov. 5.
The defendants face possible execution if found guilty.
Dulaimi said the verdict due by the court was timed
to coincide with US Congressional elections.
"There is an unfair decision that has already been
taken by the court to eliminate President Saddam Hussein in time with the U.S.
Congressional elections, through which the U.S. administration seeks to
safeguard its position," he said.
In the letter, the lawyer also warned Bush: "You will
risk your troops who have lost control over Iraq and you will place in danger
your interests and the security of the region."
Dulaimi urged Bush to set free Saddam and put an end
to the trial which he described again as illegal and a farce, adding that he
would break a monthlong boycott and attend proceedings Monday when Saddam's
second trial resumes on separate charges of genocide against the Kurds.
In a separate letter by Saddam himself, addressed to
the court's presiding judge, the ousted president also called for the verdict
against him not to be pronounced on Nov. 5, just two days before the U.S.
Saddam warned that such timing would reinforce Bush's
Republican party in the elections. "The propaganda machine will seek to show
that Bush has achieved his strategic goal" in Iraq, he was quoted as saying by
Meanwhile, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay
Khalilzad, denied speculation that the timing of the verdict was set to coincide
with midterm elections in the United States.
"That decision was made by the Iraqi judges," he told
CNN on Sunday when asked about the verdict being scheduled two days ahead of the
Saddam's defense team began boycotting the trial
Sept. 24 after the dismissal of the chief judge, who had been criticized as
being too soft on Saddam.
The lawyers said later they also were protesting the
five-judge court's refusal to give them more time to review some 10,000
documents in the trial.