US dispatches special team to Iraq to collect evidence for case against Saddam
The United States has dispatched a team of American legal and criminal experts to Iraq to seek evidence for future war crimes trials.
The special team, comprised of some 50 lawyers, investigators and prosecutors will start to assemble cases against former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and other regime chiefs.
A US justice department top official said the goal was to aid Iraq's new leaders who will decide on trials. The group, known as the Regime Crimes Adviser's Office, will report to the so-called "Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA)."
The justice official, who requested anonymity, said investigators wanted to lay the groundwork for war crimes cases against Saddam Hussein and others that would eventually be turned over to Iraqi prosecutors.
The US team includes main Justice lawyers, FBI agents, US Marshals Service members and others involved in the federal criminal justice system, said a senior Justice Department official.
The White House, via national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, gave the Justice Department the lead on the effort over other agencies, said Trent Duffy, a spokesman for President Bush. (Albawaba.com)
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