Saddam may not be tried

Arab television has reported that former Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein has suffered a stroke, and his lawyers say he may not survive to be tried. His defense team said they are still trying to get permission to see Saddam, but they were told by the Red Cross that his health has badly deteriorated.

The ex-dictator’s lawyers are demanding that their own doctor be allowed to examine Saddam. Jordanian lawyer Mohammed al-Rashdan said: “We are very worried that we won’t have a client to defend. Our information is that he’s in very poor health.”

Rashdan added: “We believe he could die because of his health problems. We also think an attempt may be made on his life. We’ve been told he has suffered from a number of headaches, has had a heart problem of some kind and then this stroke. He has also lost a great deal of weight. We don’t understand why our request to send our own doctor to check on him has been refused. When we last saw President Hussein on television, he looked quite ill.”

Rashdan continued: “Under the Geneva Convention, we’re entitled to have access to our client. But all our requests have been ignored. I think President Bush and Prime Minister Blair would be happiest if he died from ill health. Then the problem would go away.”

Saddam appeared in an Iraqi courtroom earlier in the month when he heard the seven charges against him that could result in a formal indictment for war crimes. Rashdan speculated that Saddam’s health could get much worse if a trial does not take place soon. “We believe any trial could be months, if not years, away,” Rashdan said.

One viewer from Hungary commented: “It is a known fact that certain medication can induce a stroke and a heart attack. The U.S. can’t afford to let Saddam go to trial, due to the truth would come out. This is how imperialism works, just like communism. The KGB would have done the same.”

Similar speculation has been stated by certain observers in the media in this country since Saddam’s capture.


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