International team to prosecute Saddam

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The countries had been asked to supply legal experts to join a team of up to 50 American lawyers, investigators and prosecutors who began leaving for Iraq at the weekend.

The group – to be called the Regime Crimes Adviser’s Office – will report to the Coalition Provisional Authority headed by US administrator Paul Bremer.

A US Justice Department official said investigators wanted to lay the groundwork for war crimes cases against Saddam and others that would eventually be turned over to Iraqi prosecutors.