BAGHDAD (AP) -- Saddam Hussein's lawyers are making up stories of ill-treatment in hopes the ex-dictator's trial will be moved outside Iraq, an Iraqi judge who interrogated him said.
Judge Munir Haddad, an Iraqi Kurd, also told AP Television News late on Sunday that Saddam's first trial will begin "within 45 to 50 days."
Haddad denied recent claims by Saddam's lawyer Khalil Al Dulaimi that the former president was attacked during a court appearance in late July. Haddad said such stories represent an attempt to get the trial moved from Iraq to Europe, where the death sentence is banned.
Saddam's family said yesterday it has dissolved his Jordan-based legal team, cancelling the power of attorney it had given to international lawyers in a move seen as reorganising Saddam's legal counsel ahead of his upcoming trial. The family said it has appointed Al Dulaimi as the "one and sole legal counsel."