Saddam lawyer warns against issuing death sentence

November 1, 2006 16:58


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If Saddam Hussein is condemned to death when the verdict in his first trial is handed down next week, it would "open the gates of hell" to US forces in Iraq, a lawyer for the deposed president said Wednesday. Bushra al-Khalil, a Lebanese lawyer who was thrown out of Saddam's trial in May, also accused US President George W. Bush of exploiting Saddam's expected death sentence for "electoral purposes." If convicted, Saddam could be condemned to death by hanging, but he will have the right to appeal. "A death sentence against Saddam Hussein will have grave consequences," al-Khalil told reporters. "It will lead to a major security flare-up in Iraq and to stepped up attacks on the US Army."

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