The late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein rejected a US proposal to name his vice president without power in return for his release, the head of Saddam's legal defence team has revealed. Khalil Al-Dulaimi told Al-Arabiya TV that the US also asked Saddam to stop fighting against US soldiers in Falluja and leave the country, but he refused.
When asked about his first meeting with Saddam, Al-Dulaimi said he was not sure that it was him because of "the difficult conditions resulting from his detention and physical and psychological torture. However, after speaking with him, when he mentioned certain incidents, I recognised him."
On 3 March 2003, former US President George Bush declared war on Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein and destroy the weapons of mass destruction that Iraq was alleged to have developed. No such weapons have ever been found.
British medical journal The Lancet estimated the number of people killed in Iraq from the date of the US-led invasion to the end of June 2006 at 654,965. Tens of thousands were killed later. The allegation about weapons of mass destruction is believed widely to have been an excuse for the devastating invasion in order to effect regime change in Iraq.
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