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Saddam Set For Trial


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Saddam Hussein and his top aides will go on trial within weeks, Iraq's minister of state has claimed.

The former Iraqi leader appeared before an Iraqi judge in July and was charged with crimes against humanity.

Several of his top aides also made court appearances.

Speaking in Kuwait, Iraqi minister Kasim Daoud said: "Saddam Hussein and his band will stand trials within a period of weeks."

:: The US has contradicted reports that Saddam's former second-in-command, Izzat Ibrahim al Douri, is in its custody after being arrested in northern Iraq.

The Iraqi defence ministry said al Douri was captured by the US military while receiving medical treatment at a clinic near Tikrit.

But a statement from the US military later said: "We do not have Izzat Ibrahim al- Douri in custody."

Al Douri is the highest-ranking member of Saddam's government still at large.

Once the vice-chairman of the Baath Party's Revolutionary Command Council, he was a long-time confidant of Saddam.

Iraqi information official Ibrahim Janabi insisted: "We are sure he is Izzat Ibrahim. He was arrested in a clinic in Makhoul near Tikrit and Adwar (his hometown)."

DNA tests were being carried out to confirm the man's identity, he said.


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oh boy.....anyone wanna guess on how long this is gonna take? lol

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Authorities were last night scrutinising the identity of a suspect believed to be one of Saddam Hussein's top lieutenants, as the fate of two French journalists held hostage remains unknown. Confusion reigned over whether Iraqi forces had captured Izzat Ibrahim Al Duri, one of Saddam's most trusted aides.

Interior ministry and national guard officers earlier said that Ibrahim had been seized in a deadly gunbattle following a tip-off he was receiving medical treatment at a clinic near his and Saddam's hometown of Tikrit.

But Major General Ahmed Khalaf Salman, who commands the north-central Iraq region, denied the story. US commanders in Iraq and at the Pentagon also declined to confirm the capture.

Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's office commented on the situation last night.

"Yes, they captured someone that might be him," Allawi's spokesman Taha Hussein said. "They are waiting for the DNA tests so nothing is for sure yet."

Defence Minister Hazim Al Shalaan also said reports quoting his ministry on the capture were baseless.

Ibrahim, 62, is believed to be bankrolling much of the anti-US insurgency in Sunni Arab areas. US officials also believe that Ibrahim has used his reputation as a devout Muslim to forge an alliance with Islamic militants believed responsible for some of the deadliest attacks in Iraq.

Earlier reports said 70 of Ibrahim's supporters were killed and 80 were captured when they tried to thwart his arrest.

*THE trial of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and his cronies will begin before elections due in January, Iraq's State Minister Qassem Daoud said yesterday. The "new formations" of the special tribunal for the trials "will be announced within the next few days", and that will not include its current chief Salem Al Chalabi who is facing murder charges, he said during a visit to Kuwait. "Saddam will be tried by the Iraqi judiciary without interference from anyone ... We have allowed foreign lawyers to come and defend him."

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