Saddam's Daughter Decries Images of Father

Saddam Hussein's eldest daughter said she broke down and cried when she heard news of her father's capture, adding in an interview that TV images of a disheveled Saddam beamed the across the world were meant to "break the spirit of Arabs."

Raghad Saddam Hussein (search) also reiterated in an interview Thursday in Amman, Jordan, that her family demands Saddam be given a "fair trial under international supervision."

"We have a right, as his daughters, to appoint an attorney to defend him," she told CNN. "And this is a legitimate right for any human being."

Raghad did not comment on atrocities or human rights abuses under her father's regime in the parts of the interview. The interviewer said Raghad told her she did not involve herself in politics.

Saddam ordered the slaying of Raghad and Rana's husbands in 1996. The two men, top aides to Saddam, defected to Jordan in 1995, taking their wives with them, and announced plans to work to overthrown Saddam. But they were lured back and killed.

The sisters are now back in Amman, where they were given asylum in July. Raghad also pleaded for a fair trial for her father in her first interview since Saddam's capture, by telephone by the Arabic-language satellite TV channel Al-Arabiya.

In the CNN interview, Raghad said that when news of her father's capture in his hometown of Tikrit was announced on Dec. 14, "I sat on the floor and began to cry."

"My daughter began to comfort me and hug me," she added through a translator. "But it was really horrific, painful and very cruel. It wounded me very deeply."

The former president was seized on Saturday but the U.S. military waited a day to formally announce that he had been found in a spider-hole near Tikrit. Eager to prove to Iraqis that Saddam was in custody, the military also showed video of the ousted leader, haggard and gray-bearded, as a military doctor examined him.

Dressed in a gray pinstripe blazer without the thin scarf that usually covers her hair in TV interviews, Raghad said Saddam's unkempt appearance in the footage released by the U.S.-led occupation authority was "a very painful sight, primarily for us as his children and grandchildren."

"But at the same time, it was a painful sight for each and every Arab, because the aim of releasing such images was to break the spirit of Arabs," she added.

Raghad also reiterated that her father appeared sedated in the TV footage.

"Anyone with insight could tell from the first instance that my father was not fully conscious," she said. "As a daughter, I told them from the start, 'My father is drugged. I am 100 percent convinced."'

President Bush has said he didn't know if Saddam was sedated but the images that were released were not designed to humiliate him.

Asked if she thought Saddam would get a fair trial, she said: "Of course I don't believe he'll receive a fair trial, because it will be conducted by an unrecognized party."

She was referring to the U.S.-appointed interim Iraqi Governing Council (search). "The interim government is not recognized internationally, nor in the Arab world," she said. "It has not been recognized by anyone. So, by what right will the trial proceed?"

Saddam and his wife, Sajida Khairallah Telfah (search), had three daughters and two sons. The two brothers, Uday and Qusay, were killed in a shootout with U.S. forces in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on July 22.