Free Saddam to end woes in Iraq, lawyer tells Bush

24 minutes ago

AMMAN (Reuters) - The United States should free Saddam Hussein if it wants to end its problems in Iraq and earn the friendship of Arabs, the former Iraqi president's lawyer wrote in a letter to U.S. President George W. Bush.

The chief lawyer for Saddam at his trial for crimes against humanity in Baghdad told Bush that Iraqis who supported their former leader were waiting for a bold decision from the world's most powerful statesman to free him.

"I call on you (President Bush) to release Mr. President (Saddam) immediately to allow the Iraqis to decide his fate. Only then will you get out of your predicament in Iraq and truly become an advocate of justice," Khalil Dulaimi wrote in a letter obtained by Reuters.

Such a decision would prove to be the panacea that would end Washington's woes over Iraq, Dulaimi asserted.

"Your relations with Iraq will then be historic and you will win the favor of the Arabs and Muslims and the entire world," Dulaimi said, adding that it was the only way to spare Iraq from undergoing a bloody civil war.

"Iraq is heading now toward a destructive civil war... release him so that wounds can heal and his people unite."

Dulaimi also said it will become clear to Bush that Saddam's two-month-old trial is a farce of false witnesses and lies that should be ended. Saddam faces hanging if convicted.

"You will become convinced of President Saddam's complete innocence. His popularity gains by the day and (he) is beloved by millions of Iraqis," Dulaimi said.

For many Iraqis, the televised trial since October has generated mixed feelings of anger and revenge and moved others to criticize it as a show trial.

Iraq's new leaders say Saddam's trial will erase painful memories of a brutal regime and help usher in a new era of democracy and justice.