Daughter calls for international trial


Saddam Hussein's daughter Raghad said yesterday she and her sisters wanted an international trial for their father caught by US troops this week.

"He should not be tried by the (Iraqi) Governing Council which was put in place by occupiers," Ms Raghad Saddam Hussein told Dubai-based Al Arabiya television by telephone from Jordan.

"We want an international, fair and legal trial," she said, adding that his family would appoint a lawyer to defend him.

Raghad and her sister Rana, who fled Iraq shortly after US troops took control of Baghdad in April, now live in Jordan which has granted them asylum. The whereabouts of her mother and another sister, Hala, are not clear.

Raghad, Saddam's eldest daughter, said she could not bear to see the images the US administration in Iraq had broadcast of her father, the former Iraqi dictator who appeared grubby and submissive after his capture on Saturday. Raghad said her father must have been drugged before his capture - her explanation for the humiliating pictures of a man who was seen by many Arabs as a hero.

"A lion remains a lion even in captivity. Do you think they would have been able to capture him if they had not drugged him? I am sure that they could not have done so," she said.

"I am really proud that this man is my father. We all know the reason why he was displayed in the way he was. Where is the democracy, where is the immunity that presidents enjoy?"

In 1996 Saddam ordered the killing of the husbands of Rana and Raghad after accusing them of giving information about Iraq's weapons to the West.