Iraqi tribunal to try Saddam Hussein
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi leaders have set up a tribunal to try ousted dictator Saddam Hussein and other members of his Baathist regime, a spokesman for the Iraqi Governing Council said Tuesday.
Salem Chalabi, the nephew of the head the Iraqi National Congress, was named to head the tribunal of judges and prosecutors, according to council spokesman Entefadh Qanbar.
New political parties in Iraq include the Iraqi National Congress headed by Ahmed Chalabi; the Iraqi National Coalition headed by Adnan Pachachi; and the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution headed by Ayatollah Muhammed Baqr Al Hakim.
Seven judges have been assigned to the tribunal so far, and more judges and prosecutors will be chosen, Qanbar said.
He added that the tribunal has a budget of $75 million for 2004-2005.
French attorney Jacques Verges, who has long made a name for himself representing notorious world figures, has said he will lead a team of defense lawyers in any future trial. He said he plans to call top U.S. officials to testify about their support of Saddam during the 1980s.
"It is a trial that must be open," Verges said last month. "We shall have the duty to look at the truth, but all the truth. And in this matter the links between the American government and the Iraq government are so close you cannot judge from one and the other."
Saddam was captured December 13 in a "spider hole" near his hometown of Tikrit and has remained in coalition custody in Iraq.
U.S. officials have described Saddam as being less than cooperative during his interrogations.
"He's turned out a pretty wily guy who seems to be enjoying the give and take with his interlocutors," Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said last month.
In early March, a team of U.S. Justice Department officials traveled to Iraq to start organizing evidence that could be used against Saddam once he goes on trial.
No trial date has been set.
The team includes 50 prosecutors, investigators and administrative staff members of various Justice Department entities, including the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Marshals Service.
The team is assisting the Iraqis in trying to sort through potential evidence for use in war crimes trials against former regime officials, including the former Iraqi president.