Saddam Hussein has fired his legal defence team excepting an Iraqi lawyer who is the only person authorised to represent him.
A statement by the Iraqi Special Tribunal said Saddam was questioned on Monday about news reports that he had fired all his lawyers excepting Iraqi lawyer Khalil al-Dulaimi.
“Mr Saddam confirmed that he cancelled all the power of lawyers and fired them,” the statement said. “At present, his only authorised defence counsel is Mr Khalil.”
The statement said al-Dulaimi will seek formal permission from the tribunal to serve as Saddam’s sole legal counsel, although he has attended interrogation sessions held by tribunal investigators.
Judge Raid Juhi asked Saddam whether he wanted any international lawyers, counsellors or advisers to assist in his defence and Saddam said no, the statement added.
Saddam’s family announced in Jordan on August 8 that they had dismissed the Arab and Western defence team. Saddam’s family provided few details in a statement signed by the former Iraqi leader’s eldest daughter Raghad, who lives in Jordan.
The announcement said the family had hired al-Dulaimi and would “rearrange the legal defence campaign”.
Saddam is to face the first of perhaps a dozen trials before the Iraqi Special Tribunal in the coming months. Last month, the tribunal accused Saddam and three others in the 1982 massacre of about 150 Shiites in the town of Dujail north of Baghdad, killings allegedly carried out in retaliation for a failed assassination attempt against Saddam.
He could receive the death penalty if convinced.