Low Morale Saddam Shown In Video

The Iraqi Special Tribunal that will put Saddam Hussein on trial released a new video Monday of the former dictator and four of his former officials being questioned by investigating magistrates.

The video showed a bearded Saddam wearing a dark-gray suit with thin pinstripes and white open-collared shirt being questioned by chief trial judge Raid Juhi. There was no audio.

It was unclear when the video was made and Saddam's chief Iraqi lawyer, Khalil al-Duleimi, did not want to comment. The IST said he was present during the questioning and can be seen on the tape sitting on Saddam's right hand side in gray suit.

At least two legal officials close to the case said that the video was apparently made Sunday. They did not want to be identified for security reasons.

The 68-year-old Saddam looked drawn and tired in the video, the first time he has been seen since his arraignment on July 1, 2004, in Baghdad on broad charges including killing rival politicians over 30 years, gassing Kurds in the northern town of Halabja in 1988, invading Kuwait in 1990 and suppressing the Kurdish and Shiite uprising.

Unlike that appearance, where Saddam was combative and tried to exhibit his authority, the tape shows a man who appears to a shadow of his former self. There are heavy bags under his eyes, he often clasps his hands and squeezes his fingers — clutching them together when apparently trying to make a point. His hair appears unkempt and his beard has more gray flecks running through it than it did a year ago.


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