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Saddam Hussein 'tender, delicate'

Translator says ex-dictator's book would make good musical

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Saddam Hussein is misunderstood, according to the translator of his purported book.

(CNN) -- The Japanese translator of a book purportedly written by Saddam Hussein, which went on sale this week, describes the ousted dictator as "misunderstood."

Itsuko Hirata said the book shows him to be "delicate and tender."

Hussein faces war crimes charges. Human rights groups have long chronicled Iraq's extensive human rights abuses under his leadership.

"I think that Saddam Hussein was very much misunderstood," Hirata said, as translated by The Associated Press. "People think that he is tyrannical and rough with no education. But, if you read this book, you will understand how delicate and tender he really is."

The book, titled "Akuma No Dance (Devil's Dance)," is attributed to Hussein, although it is unknown if he wrote it. Hussein has been credited with writing previous books as well.

It tells the story of a tribe living along the Euphrates River 1,500 years ago that successfully wins victory over an invading tribe, according to news reports.

Hussein's daughter Raghad has said her father completed the book on the eve of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, according to the Associated Press.

The book has not been published in Iraq. Japan is the first country to make it commercially available.

Hirata said the book "should be made into a musical" and play "on Broadway."

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