Saddam demands graphologists not from Israel, Iran

Saddam Hussein's defense lawyer Monday challenged findings of handwriting experts verifying the former president's signature on documents linked to a crackdown on Shi'ites and demanded a review by international specialists - except from Iran or Israel. The report from handwriting experts said a signature on a document approving rewards for intelligence agents involved in the crackdown in the 1980s was Saddam's, prosecutors said, reading from the report. Saddam's lawyer Khamis al-Obaidi disputed the experts' finding and insisted that the documents be analyzed by international experts, except those from Iran because of "its obvious hostility against Arabs and Islam." "And Israel," Saddam shouted. "Because we don't consider Israel a state, you didn't mention it. But the international community recognizes Israel as a state so you must mention Israel." After hearing the report, chief judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman adjourned the court until Wednesday to give the experts time to look at more documents.