Saddam judge says defendants denied abuse; lawyers flag threat to Clark

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] and his seven co-defendants previously denied in court that they had been beaten by American guards, Iraqi investigative judge Raed Juhi said Thursday. Hussein alleged earlier this week in trial proceedings that he had been beaten "everywhere on my body" [JURIST report] and that American abuse denials could not be believed [JURIST report]. Juhi, who prepared the case against Hussein, said that Iraqi officials never witnessed any signs of abuse, nor did defendants or their lawyers complain of beatings.

Also on Thursday, Hussein's lawyers made another public statement urging the Iraqi government to provide them with protection, citing a specific threat against former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark [JURIST news archive]. The request sought "all those responsible for human rights to urgently intervene to defend international law, human rights and the right of the defendants, their lawyers and witnesses for protection." AP has additional coverage of Hussein's abuse claims and the call for protection.

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