AMMAN, Jordan, May 20 (UPI) -- The son of former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz said his father faces the Iraqi High Tribunal Tuesday on war crimes charges without legal counsel.
Speaking from his office in Jordan, Ziad Aziz said during the weekend that a legal team headed by French lawyer Jacques Verges, who defended the assassin Carlos the Jackal, has not received their visas from Baghdad, thus preventing them from accompanying their client, London's Middle East Online reported Monday.
"He told me he would defend himself, if none of his lawyers can attend the trial," he said.
Aziz faced the Iraqi High Tribunal April 29 on war crimes charges for the execution of 42 businessmen in 1992 who protested rising food prices in the wake of U.N. sanctions on the former regime.
The judges adjourned the trial until May 20 to honor a request by Aziz for a new legal team. His Iraqi lawyer, Badie Izzat Aref, did not attend the April 29 trial for "security reasons."
Verges and his team said they wanted to petition the court to move the trial to a location outside Baghdad to escape the influence of the current government.
Aziz surrendered to U.S. forces in April 2003. He faces trial along with Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as "Chemical Ali," and several others for the 1992 event.