The independent Debaathification Commission, charged with rooting out former members of the Baath party, has said that 20 court personnel should be barred as members of the Baath including the substitute chief judge Sayeed al-Hamashi.

   

"The trial will be held on time, it is going to be on the 24th of January and for three days as schedualed," Jaafar al-Mussawi told Reuters on Saturday.

   

"It will be presided over by judge Sayeed al-Hamashi, nothing will affect it," he said.

   

All the 20 court personnel deny links with the Baath, al-Mussawi said.

   

The Debaathification Commission's calls for the resignation of al-Hamashi and the 19 others threw the trial into a new crisis after the former chief judge, Rizgar Amin, resigned, complaining of government interference.