Nazi’s lawyer to defend Saddam


Verges / AFP File
Jacques Verges is sometimes known as “the devil’s lawyer / AFP

Jacques Verges, whose former clients include Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie, terrorist Carlos the Jackal and former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic, told French media on the weekend he had received a letter from Saddam’s family requesting him to defend the former Iraqi leader in court.

The letter read: “In my capacity as nephew of President Saddam Hussein, I commission you officially by this letter to assure the defence of my uncle.” Saddam is being held by US forces at an undisclosed location and little has been heard of him since his capture in December.

Asked how he would organise Saddam’s defence, Mr Verges said on Saturday he had “three possible destinations: Baghdad, Geneva – headquarters of the Red Cross – and The Hague, where the International Criminal Court is based”. Mr Verges also has taken on the task of defending former Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz, who surrendered to US forces last April.

US officials have said they will bring Saddam to trial for alleged crimes against Iraqi people. But the location of any trial and its format and date have yet to be decided.