Saddam plans to sue Bush, Blair

Saddam Hussein wants George Bush, the US president, and Tony Blair, the British prime minister, to be tried for committing war crimes, says the deposed Iraqi president's chief lawyer.

    Saddam says he is still the rightful president of Iraq

    Khalil al-Dulaimi said on Thursday that Saddam wants to sue both leaders, along with Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, for allegedly authorising the use of weapons such as depleted uranium artillery shells, white phosphorous, napalm and cluster bombs in Iraq.

    "We will sue Bush, Blair and Rumsfeld in The Hague for using such weapons of mass destruction," al-Dulaimi, in Jordan, told The Associated Press in Baghdad during a telephone interview.

    No complaint has been filed to the International Criminal Court in The Netherlands, but al-Dulaimi said Saddam's foreign defence team will present it "very soon".

    Iraq excesses

    "President Saddam intends to bring those criminals to justice for their mass killings of Iraqis in Baghdad, Ramadi, Falluja and Qaim and abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib," the lawyer added.

    Saddam also wants all Iraqis who have had relatives killed or had property damaged should receive at least $500,000 each.

    There have been several allegations that the United States used outlawed weapons, such as napalm, in the November, 2004 Falluja offensive, but the Pentagon denied using it.

    "President Saddam intends to bring those criminals to justice for their mass killings of Iraqis in Baghdad, Ramadi, Fallujah and Qaim and abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib"

    Khalil al-Dulaimi,
    Saddam Hussein's chief lawyer

    In November, the Pentagon acknowledged that US troops used white phosphorous shells as a weapon against insurgent strongholds in the same Falluja battle, adding that they are a standard weapon and not banned by any international weapons convention to which the US is a signatory.

    Prohibited weapon

    Use of white phosphorous is covered by Protocol III of the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons, which prohibits use of the substance as an incendiary weapon against civilian populations and in air attacks against military forces in civilian areas. The United States is not a signatory to the convention.

    US soldiers have also claimed they have fallen ill to exposure to depleted uranium artillery shells in Iraq, but the Pentagon has said metal does not cause ailments.

    Depleted uranium is the hard, heavy metal created as a byproduct of enriching uranium for nuclear reactor fuel or weapons material.

    Saddam, his half brother Barzan Ibrahim and six other defendants are on trial in the 1982 killing of more than 140 Shia Muslims after an attempt on Saddam's life in the northern town of Dujail. They could face death by hanging if convicted.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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