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U.S.

Saddam now in Iraqi custody; will be charged Thursday

From Wolf Blitzer
CNN

YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
Iraq
Saddam Hussein

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- When we finally see Saddam Hussein in an Iraqi courtroom Thursday, sources say, he will look a lot different from the most recent photos of him, which were taken last December when he was captured.

Among other things, the sources say, he's been dramatically cleaned up.

But despite the outside appearance, we will also see a very different Saddam Hussein from the one who ruled Iraq with an iron fist for decades.

Mouwaffak al-Rubaie is Iraq's new national security adviser. He says, "I believe the outside world would see Saddam in the box, shivering and frightened, demoralized but unrepentant and unapologetic."

Like the other 11 Iraqi prisoners who will make brief court appearances, Saddam will be handcuffed.

U.S. officials say Saddam has not provided much useful information during his months of interrogation by various representatives from the Pentagon, the CIA and the FBI.

They say he still insists he's the president of Iraq and due all the appropriate respect and courtesies.

"Saddam is stubborn, is pig-headed and is highly self-indoctrinating and self-perpetuating," says al-Rubaie.

In short, don't expect Saddam to say he's sorry and to apologize to the Iraqi people.

"This is going, I think, to be the trial of the century and everybody's going to watch this trial and we're going to demonstrate to the outside world that we in the new Iraq are going to be an example of what the new Iraqi is all about," al-Rubaie says.

U.S. officials say Saddam is in good physical shape. They note he's been seen three times by representatives from the International Committee for the Red Cross -- most recently earlier this month.

The Iraqis may now have legal custody of Saddam, but he remains in U.S. hands.

Former Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman Dan Senor has just returned from Iraq. He says, "They have asked us to help with the security of Saddam Hussein, which is why we will maintain the physical custody. The last thing they want is Saddam Hussein being killed or being freed."


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