Legal custody of Saddam Hussein and other top prisoners will be transferred to Iraqi authorities giving access to Iraqi prosecutors and defense lawyers. This would happen as soon as Iraqi courts issue the necessary warrants, a U.S. official said Tuesday, reports abcnews.go.com.
But U.S. forces won't let go of Saddam, even after Iraq regains its sovereignty next week, because Iraq doesn't yet have a prison strong enough to hold the ex-dictator, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
According to reuters.com the official in Iraq's U.S.-led administration said the following:"We understand the importance of transferring the high-value detainees to the Iraqi interim government upon their request, which we anticipate will be received shortly after July 1."
"Because the Iraqi interim government is not currently in a position to safeguard these detainees, at least in large numbers, our current plan calls for the transfer of legal responsibility over a certain number of high-profile detainees...while physical custody will remain with the multinational force in Iraq," he told reporters.
The General Staff noted that the document appeared at a time when Russia was trying to deter the arms race unleashed by the United States