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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 August 2005, 16:24 GMT 17:24 UK
Saddam's prison letter published
Part of Saddam Hussein letter
The letter was brought from Saddam Hussein's jail to Jordan
A letter from ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, describing himself as a sacrifice for Iraq, has been published in Jordanian newspapers.

The letter was delivered by the International Committee of the Red Cross, which says it is genuine.

Saddam Hussein is in jail at a secret location as he awaits trial.

"I and my family offer ourselves as a sacrifice for this nation, including dear Palestine and our steadfast, beloved, and wretched Iraq," he writes.

The ICRC collected the message... It was censored by the detaining authorities before being handed over to the ICRC for distribution
Rana Sidani
ICRC spokeswoman

"Life without faith, love and the inherited traditions of our nation is destruction.

"He who sacrifices his property and soul for his nation is but doing a little because this nation deserves much to be done."

He ends the letter: "Long live Palestine. Love your nation."

The letter was taken first to a friend of the former president - who does not want to be identified - before being published in Ad-Dustour and al-Arab al-Yawm newspapers.

Saddam Hussein (file pic)
Saddam Hussein could be facing the death penalty

"The ICRC has confirmed the authenticity of the message published in the Jordanian media," said Rana Sidani, spokeswoman for the ICRC's Iraq delegation in Amman.

"The ICRC collected the message. It was censored by the detaining authorities before being handed over to the ICRC for distribution."

The letter is believed to be the first sent by the former president to someone outside his family since he was captured by US forces 18 months ago.

Saddam Hussein is facing trial before a special tribunal set up for the purpose. He could face the death penalty.

He is accused over a 1982 massacre of Shia Muslims, although other charges are expected to follow.

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