According to the chief prosecutor in his trial, Saddam Hussein was hospitalized Sunday, on day 17 of his hunger strike, but FOX sources say medical tests are happening on-site at the detention center, not at a hospital.

"The health condition of Saddam Hussein and three other co-defendants who are refusing food is being regularly monitored," U.S. Army Lt. Col. Keir-Kevin Curry told FOX News. "From a medical perspective they are fully fit to stand trial."

However, Jaafar al-Moussawi said he visited the prison Sunday where Saddam and the seven other co-defendants are held and was told that the ex-president's health "is unstable because of the hunger strike."

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"We took him to hospital and he is being currently fed by a tube," al-Moussawi told The Associated Press. He refused to identify the hospital.

Asked if Saddam's health had improved, al-Moussawi replied: "No, it is not stable yet."

Saddam and three others — presumed to be co-defendants Barzan Ibrahim, Taha Yassin Ramadan and Awad al-Bandar — have been refusing food since dinner on July 7 to protest the Iraqi High Tribunal procedures and security for their defense attorneys and three of them have been slain.

The action was launched after the June 21 slaying of Khamis al-Obeidi, the third member of the team to be assassinated since the trial began last October. The defense team has blamed Shiite militiamen for al-Obeidi's death.

In a letter to the court, the defense said it wanted U.S. authorities to provide security for the lawyers and their families. It also demanded a 45-day recess to allow it to prepare its closing statements and a promise from the court that it would be allowed to take as long as it wishes in its final arguments.

Court spokesman Raid Juhi said the defense had rejected an offer of the same security precaution given to the judges and prosecution lawyers: residence inside the Green Zone, the fortified Baghdad neighborhood where the court is located.

Saddam and the others are charged in the crackdown on Shiites in the town of Dujail following a 1982 assassination attempt against the Iraqi leader.

Saddam is also due to go on trial Aug. 21 for the crackdown on the Kurds in the 1980s.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.