Khalil al-Dulaimi, Saddam Hussein's chief lawyer, warned on Sunday of worsening violence in Iraq and chaos across the Middle East if Saddam is sentenced to death on the 5th of November (two days before the US midterms).
The U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, mounted a pr campaign to spike the mounting speculation that the timing of the verdict was set to coincide with midterms.
"That decision was made by the Iraqi judges. But we don't determine the date for holding the meetings or the trial or the date for making the decision or announcing the decision with regard to Saddam Hussein."
Al-Dulaimi said that he wrote directly to President Bush.
"I warned him against the death penalty and against any other decision that would inflame a civil war in Iraq and send fire throughout the region.
Any foolish American decision will further complicate things and will pose a serious threat to U.S. interests in the region."
He also claimed the offices of Saddam's defence team in the U.S. controlled Green Zone of Baghdad were ransacked over a week ago, and said that more than 1,400 pages of trial documents were damaged.
"Some 1,450 pages were blackened and we believe that the prosecution was behind this."
Badee Izzat Aref, a lawyer for one of Saddam's co-defendants, also said the lawyers' offices had been ransacked. He said there was no sign of a break-in.
Chief prosecutor Jaafar al-Mousawi said al-Dulaimi's claims were "baseless and show the inability of the defense team in defending their clients."
Al-Dulaimi said he would return to those proceedings when they reopen Monday. However, he stormed out the courtroom on Monday shortly after he had ended a month long boycott of the trial.
Al-Dulaimi submitted a dozen motions, including one to allow foreign lawyers to attend the trial without permission of the court. Chief Judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa denied most of them.
The judges aid:
"I allow you to withdraw. Go ahead."
After his lawyer left, Saddam complained that the court appointed replacement lawyers for him "despite our wish to be represented by our own attorneys."
He accused the court of violating the law, which he said stipulated that court-appointed attorneys are provided only for defendants who cannot afford counsel.
The farce continues.