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Last Updated: Monday, 8 August 2005, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
Saddam family slims defence team
Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
The former Iraqi leader has enjoyed the services of a large legal team
Saddam Hussein's family say they have scrapped his large legal team and appointed a single lawyer.

Khalil Dulaimi, already lead lawyer, is to be the sole representative for Saddam Hussein ahead of his trial.

The family's statement reportedly said that they had been obliged to change the Jordan-based legal team "given the unique nature of the case".

No date has yet been set for the trial over crimes against humanity that could be punished with death.

A statement from the family signed by the former Iraqi leader's daughter Raghad said: "From today, none of the lawyers, except Iraqi lawyer Khalil Dulaimi will have the right to act on behalf of Saddam."

Former US attorney general Ramsey Clark was one of a panel of 20 Arab and non-Arab lawyers working on the case.

Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark with Arab Lawyers Union Assistant Secretary General Ziad Khasawneh in Amman
Former US attorney general Ramsey Clark was on the team

The family's statement seemed to suggest that there could be more lawyers appointed.

"Any lawyer who would later be invited by the family to join the defence committee will be explicitly authorised by the family to make statements in due time.

"All powers of legal representation made by any member of the family or by [Saddam's legal team] to any lawyer or any other person are now deemed cancelled."

On Sunday, investigating judge Muneer Haddad told Associated Press that Saddam would face charges relating to the killing of 50 people at Dujail in revenge for a failed assassination attempt, possibly within 45-50 days.

Other charges relating to the use of chemical weapons in 1988, putting down Kurd and Shia insurgencies in 1991, and the killing or deporting of 8,000 members of the Kurdish Barzani tribe are also likely to be tried.

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