Saddam's Lawyers: Trial Date Too Soon

Saddam Hussein's (search) lawyers won't recognize the Oct. 19 start of the former leader's trial because they claim they have not been notified of the date by the Iraqi Special Tribunal (search), the attorneys said Wednesday.

The lawyers "will not recognize any date for the trial if it comes within weeks or months," said Khalil Dulaimi, Saddam's Iraqi lawyer, in a statement issued from Baghdad.

Dulaimi did not specify what the defense lawyers will do if no notification has been served by the time the trial opens.

Another Saddam lawyer, Britain-based Abdel Haq Alani, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that the legal team "must be served notice stating a trial date, and that hasn't happened."

Saddam and seven other members of his toppled regime are due to stand trial in the tribunal on Oct. 19. They are charged with ordering a massacre of 143 people in Dujail (search), a town north of Baghdad, in 1982 after a failed assassination attempt against the ousted leader. If convicted, Saddam could be sentenced to death.