Amman, Asharq Al-Awsat- Salih al-Armuti, the president of the Jordanian Lawyers Association who recently joined the team of lawyers defending deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, has stated that Khalil al-Dulaymi, member of the defense team, informed him that he could meet Saddam Hussein alone a day or two before the court session of 24 January in the Green Zone where he is held. He added that Al-Dulaymi also briefed him on the security measures taken by the Iraqi Government and US forces to protect the defense team members.
Al-Armuti told “Asharq al-Awsat” that he is studying the international agreements, laws, and constitutions to contest the legality of the court under the US occupation and pointed out that Saddam remains the actual Iraqi president under international law. He added that Al-Dulaymi, who is at present in Amman, informed him of his desire to meet him soon to discuss the trial of the Iraqi president and his colleagues. Al-Armuti began his meetings with the team of lawyers defending the Iraqi president and his colleagues by holding consultations last week with Khamis al-Kurdi, Barzan al-Tikriti’s lawyer to discuss issues related to the defense of Saddam.
He said Al-Dulaymi asked him for a number of documents, including the preparation of a request to the president of the “First Criminal Court” to approve the power of attorney that Saddam gave him to defend him and added that the Iraqi lawyer told him by telephone that he could meet the Iraqi president one or two days before 24 January, the date set for the court session, and that a lengthy session with the defense team would precede the session.
Al-Armuti asked Al-Tikriti’s lawyer to provide him with the modern criminal laws legislated by the Iraqi National Assembly, including the constitutional court law. He said he was acquainted with the trial procedures of Saddam Hussein and his colleagues.
Al-Armuti disclosed that he would invite the Jordanian Lawyers Association’s general assembly to a meeting within one week to brief it on the power of attorney he was given to defend Saddam and would ask the members to provide detailed studies on international and constitutional law and international agreements, especially the Geneva Convention, so as to contest the legality of the court and its procedures as well as the US presence in Iraqi territories since the US forces continue to occupy Iraq and President Saddam Husayn is Iraq’s actual president. He added that he would ask the Jordanian legal experts specializing in international criminal laws to help the defense team challenge the witnesses’ testimonies and the procedures of the hybrid court that is made up of Iraqi and US laws.
It is recalled that the Jordanian Lawyers Association president received last week his power of attorney papers signed by the Iraqi president and immediately started to prepare for the trial. He pointed out that he had not yet met defense Lawyer Khalil al-Dulaymi, former Qatari Justice Minister Najib al-Nu’aymi, and former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, to prepare for the trial.
According to the power of attorney document, the Iraqi president mandated Al-Armuti to defend him in Al-Dujail case that is before the court “to the last court levels, from start to appeal, and in front of the big court whether the complaint continues, is changed, or other charges are added to it. He has the right to be present at the preliminary investigations, view the powers of the investigations, ask for and demand all the legal documents, and present the defense and all the objections and lists.”