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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 August 2005, 12:28 GMT 13:28 UK
Court releases new Saddam photos
New photos of Saddam Hussein have been released

New photos of Saddam Hussein have been released by the Special Iraqi Tribunal investigating the former Iraqi leader.

The three photos show him being questioned by Chief Investigative Judge Raid Juhi at an unknown location.

They are the first pictures of him to appear since May, when the Sun newspaper published leaked photos showing him doing his laundry in jail.

The US pledged it would investigate the leak of those photos, some of which showed Saddam Hussein half-naked.

Saddam Hussein is being held by US troops at an undisclosed location in Iraq as he awaits trial on numerous charges, including murdering rivals, gassing Iraqi Kurds and using violence to suppress uprisings.

The latest pictures, which show Saddam Hussein with a full beard, were taken on Tuesday, the tribunal said.

It is not clear when the Sun's photos were taken. There was speculation in May that they could be more than a year old, as they show Saddam Hussein with his former trademark moustache.

Defence sacked

As the new photos were released, it was confirmed that Saddam Hussein has sacked his entire international legal team.

Saddam confirmed that he has dismissed all lawyers and cancelled their authorisations
Tribunal statement
He told the judge at the special tribunal which is investigating charges against him that he might appoint new lawyers "if a need arises", the tribunal said in a statement.

Earlier this month Saddam Hussein's family announced it had dismissed all foreign lawyers and chosen Iraqi lawyer Khalil Dulaimi to attend court hearings.

"Saddam confirmed that he has dismissed all lawyers and cancelled their authorisations... and that the only authorised lawyer is Khalil Dulaimi," the tribunal said on Tuesday.

Saddam Hussein's family lawyer, Abdel Haq Alani, explained that they were upset over media reports in which several Arab and Western lawyers claimed to speak on his behalf.

He added that the family would appoint a new legal team.

Saddam Hussein's trial is expected to take place within two months, although though no date has been set.

The only formal charge that has been filed against him is related to a mass killing of Shia Muslims in the village of Dujail north-east of Baghdad after a failed murder attempt against him 1982.

The former dictator faces a possible death penalty if convicted.

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