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Saddam lawyers appeal former president's death sentence

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) Saddam Hussein's lawyers on Sunday formally appealed the death sentence handed down the ousted Iraqi president for the killing of 148 Shiites, a court spokesman said.

Five Iraqi judges on November 5th sentenced Saddam and two other senior members of his regime to death by hanging for the killings in the town of Dujail, north of Baghdad, following a 1982 attempt on his life.

Under Iraqi law, death sentences are automatically appealed before a higher court within 10 days of their passage. But defense lawyers must file a formal appeal within 30 days, detailing the legal grounds for their action and presenting new evidence that could support their clients' claims of innocence.

``Today, defense lawyers came to the court and filed an appeal against the death sentence passed against Saddam Hussein and other sentences in the Dujail case,'' Raid Juhi, the spokesman of the Iraqi High Tribunal, told The Associated Press.
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