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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 December, 2003, 13:08 GMT
Saddam daughter pleads for father
Raghad Saddam Hussein
Raghad says she is proud of her father, describing him as a lion
Saddam Hussein's eldest daughter Raghad has called for an international trial for her father.

Raghad Saddam Hussein told Al-Arabiya TV he should not be tried by the Iraqi Governing Council "which was put in place by occupiers".

Speaking from Jordan, Raghad said she could not bear to see the pictures of her father put out by the US administration in Iraq.

She said her father must have been drugged before his capture.

"Everyone who knew him closely knows that he who was shown on television screens was a drugged Saddam Hussein," she told the TV.

"But a lion is still a lion, even when it is shackled," she added, saying how proud she was of her father.

She said that she and her sisters Rana and Hala would appoint a lawyer to defend the former president.

Press speculate

Several Jordanian newspapers also suggest that Saddam Hussein may have been drugged.

It is clear that the man was taken by surprise and that he was drugged during his capture
Jordan's Al-Dustur
"Captured President Saddam surrendered of his own free will or was he drugged?" reads the front-page headline in the weekly Al-Sabeel.

Another weekly, Al-Hilal, also questions "the ease" with which Saddam was arrested.

"This leads many to wonder about the possibility that the American forces used some sedative gas" in the mission, the paper said.

A commentator writing in the Al-Dustur newspaper has no doubt.

"It is clear that the man was taken by surprise and that he was drugged during his capture, first with a certain gas and then he was administered a type of drug that disoriented him."

There has been no word from the US on the allegations that drugs were used on Saddam Hussein.

The former Iraqi leader was "disoriented" and "bewildered" when US soldiers helped him out of his hiding hole near Tikrit late on Saturday, US officials said at the time.

He put up no resistance although armed with a pistol.

The BBC's Andrew Burroughs
"Raghad said her father must have been tranquilised with drugs when he was arrested because everyone knew he was firm"


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