Lawyer for a Kuwaiti sentenced to death for heading a ‘puppet government’ during Iraq's occupation vowed to "turn around" the case against his client as he asked a court to help obtain new evidence, reported the Associated Press Wednesday.
Nawwaf Al-Mutairi told Kuwait's Appeals Court he needed a court order to acquire the transcript of a videotaped interview between the defendant, Alaa Hussein, and a senior government official. The interview, which took place in London last year, "contains promises to facilitate Alaa Hussein's travel to Kuwait after the government was convinced "of his innocence, the lawyer was quoted by AP as saying.
Hussein, 41, lived in Iraq, Turkey and Norway until last January when he returned home, saying he wanted to prove he was not a collaborator with Iraq, the agency added.
Iraqi forces occupied Kuwait for seven months before the U.S.-led coalition liberated the Gulf state in February 1991. Hussein was sentenced to death in absentia two years after the Gulf war, and a criminal court upheld the sentence on May 3.
The former army reservist told the court he had no idea why Iraqis chose him from hundreds of war prisoners to head the puppet Cabinet in Kuwait that served for about a week. He says that the Iraqis forced him to stay in Iraq after the war until 1997.
His attorney, al-Mutairi, told AP when Hussein was finally allowed to leave Iraq, he approached several Kuwaiti embassies seeking to facilitate his return home.
"They all gave him the deaf ear," he said.
Al-Mutairi said the taped interview with Saad al-Ajmi, who at the time headed the government's Information Office in London, will "turn around" the case.
Al-Ajmi, who has since become information minister, told the criminal court he met with Hussein to ask him about Kuwaiti war prisoners believed still in Iraq. He denied giving him any promises of pardon or clemency.
Hussein, his wife and four children were granted asylum in Norway. They used Norwegian passports to come back to Kuwait, according to the agency.
Hussein's lawyer also asked the court for the testimony of a number of former war prisoners including an army officer who saw Iraqis beating and insulting Hussein, and a member of the ruling family who was forced to insult Kuwait and its rulers in an interview with the Iraqi television.
Hearings in the case resume June 7 – Albawaba.com.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)