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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 May, 2005, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
Saddam trial 'within two months'
Saddam Hussein, pictured shaved after his arrest
Saddam Hussein is being held at an undisclosed location in Iraq
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has said he expects the trial of Saddam Hussein for alleged crimes against humanity to begin within two months.

"The Iraqi government is now doing its best to prepare the ground for a court... to decide... Saddam Hussein's future," he told CNN.

The former leader is being held by US troops at a secret location in Iraq as he awaits trial.

A special tribunal set up in 2003 has been amassing evidence against him.

He has been charged with the deaths of thousands of Iraqi Shias and Kurds during his 1968-2003 rule.

He was captured by US forces near his home town of Tikrit in central Iraq in late 2003.

Leading Iraqi politicians have said in the past that Saddam Hussein's trial could start within months.

But Iraqi prosecutors and their US aides have said a trial is more likely in 2006, after several of the former leader's key loyalists are tried first.

It is thought the cases of the former president's henchmen will help the case against him.

Mr Talabani also told CNN it was possible that chemical and biological weapons could still be found in Iraq.

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