Saddam to be tried after Iraq election

Dec. 30, 2004 at 6:50 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Iraqi Justice Minister Malek Hassan said ousted President Saddam Hussein would be tried only after a legislative council is elected.

Hassan was quoted Thursday by Saudi daily al-Hayat as saying, "Trying the former Iraqi president after the general elections have been held gives real legitimacy to his trial."

He said the elected legislative authority would be overseeing Saddam's trial directly.

Hassan said that Saddam could not be questioned under existing conditions in the country.

He also said that no incriminating evidence had so far been found against former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, while "many documents have been found" incriminating Ali Hassan al-Majid, Saddam's cousin, known as Chemical Ali.

Aziz's lawyer, Badih Aref, said earlier that the former official wants to appoint Arab and foreign defense lawyers, including former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Lebanese Information Minister Elie Firzli.

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