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Saddam trial set for live webcast

Well, almost live

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Legal junkies needing an as-it-happens fix of court-on-former-dictator action will be pleased to learn that the trial of Saddam Hussein will be broadcast live on the web - sort of.

The Iraqi Special Tribunal charged with bringing Saddam to justice has its own website, but will not be running live footage itself, CNET reports. Instead it will provide live untranslated material for exterior agencies, leaving the news boys to add their own English soundtrack and disseminate to an expectant world.

Asscociated Press says it will stream proceeedings "as close to a live timeframe as possible", although the Tribunal has already imposed a delay of either 20 or 30 minutes, depending on who you talk to. MSNBC.com will offer "some kind of a video stream" but has yet to decide on the final mix of courtroom drama and correspondents.

CNN affiliate Court TV will show the whole trial to subscribers, while CNN itself will concentrate on TV coverage, dishing up selected morsels on its website. ABC News, meanwhile, intends to stream the trial tapes through its 24-hour broadband channel.

As of this morning, the BBC's website was promising continuous coverage of the trial with a 20 minute delay.

Saddam's dateline with legal destiny is due to kick off today. Whether it proves a OJ-Simpson-style ratings hit remains to be seen. ®

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