Saddam's Daughter Speaks

Raghad Saddam Hussein, a daughter of the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussien, is interviewed on the Al Arabiya satellite television channel Friday, Aug.1 2003, in Amman, Jordan. Saddam's two eldest daughters and their children are receiving sanctuary from Jordan's King Abdullah II.
AP
Saddam Hussein's eldest daughter said she broke down and cried when she heard news of her father's capture, adding in an interview that TV images of a disheveled Saddam beamed the across the world were meant to "break the spirit of Arabs."

Raghad Saddam Hussein also reiterated in an interview Thursday with CNN in Amman, Jordan, that her family demands Saddam be given a "fair trial under international supervision."

"We have a right, as his daughters, to appoint an attorney to defend him," she said. "And this is a legitimate right for any human being."

Raghad did not comment on atrocities or human rights abuses under her father's regime in the parts of the interview aired by CNN. The interviewer said Raghad told her she did not involve herself in politics.

Raghad and Rana are living in Amman, where they were given asylum in July. Raghad also pleaded for a fair trial for her father in her first interview since Saddam's capture, by telephone by the Arabic-language satellite TV channel Al-Arabiya.

Raghad said that when news of her father's capture in his hometown of Tikrit was announced on Dec. 14, "I sat on the floor and began to cry."

"My daughter began to comfort me and hug me," she added through a translator. "But it was really horrific, painful and very cruel. It wounded me very deeply."

The former president was seized on Saturday but the U.S. military waited a day to formally announce that he had been found in a spider-hole near Tikrit. Eager to prove to Iraqis that Saddam was in custody, the military also showed video of the ousted leader, haggard and gray-bearded, as a military doctor examined him.

Raghad said Saddam's unkempt appearance in the footage released by the U.S.-led occupation authority was "a painful sight for each and every Arab, because the aim of releasing such images was to break the spirit of Arabs," she added.

Raghad also reiterated that her father appeared sedated in the TV footage. "As a daughter, I told them from the start, 'My father is drugged. I am 100 percent convinced'," she said.

President Bush has said he didn't know if Saddam was sedated but the images that were released were not designed to humiliate him.

Asked if she thought Saddam would get a fair trial, she said: "Of course I don't believe he'll receive a fair trial, because it will be conducted by an unrecognized party."

She was referring to the U.S.-appointed interim Iraqi Governing Council. "The interim government is not recognized internationally, nor in the Arab world," she said. "It has not been recognized by anyone. So, by what right will the trial proceed?"

Saddam and his wife, Sajida Khairallah Telfah, had three daughters and two sons. The two brothers, Odai and Qusai, were killed in a shootout with U.S. forces in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on July 22.

Meanwhile, Baghdad residents got to see new pictures of Saddam on Thursday. They snapped copies of an Iraqi newspaper with a front-page photo of Saddam sitting in his jail cell with one of longtime opponents.

The deposed dictator is shown just feet from Ahmad Chalabi, a member of Iraq's American-picked Governing Council and once a Pentagon favorite to succeed Saddam.

The picture, covering most of the front page of the Al-Moutamar newspaper, which Chalabi publishes, was taken Sunday when Chalabi and three other council members were taken to see the former dictator.

In the photo, Saddam is sitting on a floor leaning against a bare tile wall, wearing a white robe and a jacket, while Chalabi sits next to him on a chair, leaning forward as if talking to him.

The edition disappeared off the newsstands by midday Thursday, with some vendors selling copies for more than double the price.

Saddam's interrogation is continuing at an undisclosed location in Iraq, U.S. officials said, with the Central Intelligence Agency taking the lead role. An interim council member said the former president is in the greater Baghdad area.

CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart reports Saddam is being treated well, but subjected to sleep deprivation.

According to USA Today, Saddam is being shown videotapes of Iraqis demonstrating against him, mass graves, torture sessions and executions in order to trick him into revealing information. Interrogators are also closely watching his reactions as a guide to his responses to questions.

Intelligence and weapons experts doubt that the interrogation will yield much useful information about guerrilla fighters or Iraq's alleged illegal arsenal. For one thing, he has little incentive to cooperate since his execution is likely. For another, he may know little about the insurgency killing U.S. troops or about the details of Iraq's illegal weapons programs — if any existed.

So far, Saddam has denied to his interrogators that his regime had weapons of mass destruction and ties to al Qaeda, U.S. officials said. He has also denied knowledge of the fate of Scott Speicher, the Navy fighter pilot who disappeared over Iraq during the first Gulf War.

U.S. intelligence and military officials say their first priority is to focus on the resistance and the whereabouts of Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri and other remaining senior regime officials and insurgent leaders.