| Aisha: Dad’s daughter
July 3: The caged Lion of Tikrit must be missing the company of Muammar Gaddafi, the rebel with the regal mane who once counted America among his favourite prey.
But not all in Libya have forgotten Saddam. Aisha, the daughter of Gaddafi, has joined the team that wants to defend Saddam in the trial before an Iraqi tribunal.
Aisha, in her mid-20s, has been variously described as a “law graduate” and a “law professor”. Other than her pin-up good looks and blonde locks, not much is known about the daughter of the leader of Libya, which has just re-established relations with the West.
A statement issued by a charity headed by Aisha said she wanted to guarantee that Saddam received a “fair trial (based on) the principle that all accused should be presumed innocent until proven guilty”.
“Dr Aisha Gaddafi is henceforth part of our team as she requested. I have sent her a letter of confirmation,” said lawyer Mohammed Rashdan, part of the group hired by Saddam’s wife and daughters. Rashdan said it had not been decided what role Aisha would play in the team, which has not yet been allowed to enter Iraq.
Another member, Ziad al-Khasawneh, said the team had phoned Aisha to thank her.
Ironically, the fear of an Iraq-like invasion was perceived as the single-biggest factor that forced Gaddafi to announce a spectacular renunciation of weapons of mass destruction and bury the hatchet with the US.
The legal team did not say whether Aisha had the blessings of her father. The ageing Gaddafi may have sheathed his once-deadly claws and shook hands with the West, but he was also among the few West Asian leaders who have publicly defended Saddam.