National Security Adviser in Iraq Muwafaq al-Rubie on Saturday making the announcement in Baghdad said: "Saddam will be tried on crimes he had committed, and he will have the right to defend himself against the charges filed against him."  


"The Iraqi people, and the rest of the world, will be able to see the trial live on television," he added. 


Last week, the Iraqi prime minister's spokesman said Saddam Hussein could face up to 500 charges, but he would be tried on only 12 because prosecuting all would be a waste of time.


Iraqi Special Tribunal judge Raed Juhi told a newspaper that the toppled leader was expected to go on trial within two months and described his morale as "low because he realises the volume of accusations for which he will be judged".


Saddam Hussein is being held by US forces at a base near Baghdad along with 11 former high-ranking government members, on an array of charges of crimes against humanity, including the alleged use of chemical weapons against the Kurds.