IRAQ. SADDAM TRIAL MAY START IN TWO MONTHS: TALABANI
May 31, 2005: Saddam Hussein could be on trial within two months, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said, but Giovanni Di Stefano, a London lawyer representing the former Iraqi dictator, warned several legal steps had to be taken first.
Talabani was asked during a videolink press conference on CNN when Saddam's much-awaited trial might begin, and replied: "I hope within two months."
"The Iraqi government is now doing its best to prepare the ground for a court which will be able to decide ... about Saddam Hussein's future," he told the channel's World Report Conference.
But his comments drew a quick rebuttal from Di Stefano, a member of Saddam's legal team, who told the Press Association: "Before any trial can occur there has to be an indictment and a charge." "No matter how hopeful the Iraqi president is, there can be no substance to this until the man is properly charged," the lawyer argued. (Sources: Agence France Presse, 31/05/2005)