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Family Demands International Trial for Saddam

Family Demands International Trial for Saddam

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Saddam Hussein's family wants the former leader to be tried by an international court instead of a special tribunal set up by the U.S.-installed Iraqi Governing Council, one of his daughters said Tuesday.

Raghad Saddam Hussein said her father appeared sedated in footage released Sunday by the U.S.-led occupation authority after his capture near his hometown of Tikrit.

"Every honest person who knows Saddam know that he is firm and powerful. Saddam was tranquilized when captured," she said in an interview with the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television station.

"He would be a lion even when caged," she said.

Raghad and her sister Rana are living in Amman, Jordan, where they were given asylum in July.

She said the family would appoint an attorney to try to contact Saddam, whose whereabouts have not been released. U.S. authorities say they are interrogating him at a secure location.

Raghad told Al-Arabiya that the family wanted her father to be tried by an international tribunal, rather than a special court set up last week by the 25-member Governing Council to deal with crimes against humanity allegedly committed by Saddam and other members of his regime.

"We demand a fair and legal trial, not one held by the Governing Council which was appointed by the occupier," Raghad said.

"It should be fair and international. We should have the right to defend our father legally," she said.

Saddam and his wife, Sajida Khairallah Telfah, had three daughters and two sons. The two brothers, Odai and Qusai, were killed in a shootout with U.S. forces in the Iraqi city of Mosul on July 22.

The two daughters had lived private lives and were seen by some as victims of Saddam, who ordered their husbands killed in 1996.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for Governing Council member Ahmed Chalabi said he thought Saddam could get a fair trial in Iraq.

"I think the trial will be just and fair because all parties are interested in making it fair," Entifadh Qanbar told British Broadcasting Corp. TV. "It will also send the right message to have a trial conducted in Iraq by Iraqis to heal the wounds of those victims or the families of the victims."

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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