Japanese publisher to put out a novel supposedly completed by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein

The book, to be titled "Akuma No Dance" (Devil's Dance) in Japan, will be published by the Tokyo-based Tokuma Shoten Publishing Co. next Friday, said the company's senior editorial official, Koichi Chikaraishi.

Jordan last year banned publication of the novel, known there as "Get Out, Damned One," due to political concerns. It depicts a tribe living on the Euphrates River 1,500 years ago that succeeds in ousting an invading tribe through resistance.

Chakaraishi said the manuscript of the novel was carried out of Iraq by Saddam's eldest daughter, Raghad, when she fled to Jordan just before the U.S.-led invasion was launched.

Raghad has said previously her father finished the novel on March 18, 2003 - a day before the war began.

Chikaraishi said a first run of 8,000 copies of a 256-page Japanese translation would be printed, and priced at 1,575 yen (US$14; Ђ11).

It would be the first time the book would be published commercially, though a pirated version has been sold in Jordan, Chikaraishi said.

How the proceeds from the Saddam's translated book will be shared between publisher and author was not immediately known, the AP reports.

It will be Saddam's second novel to be sold in Japan, after his "Zabibah and the King," Chikaraishi said. "Zabibah and the King" tells a story of a leader who sacrifices a luxurious life for the sake of his people.

Saddam has been jailed under American control at a U.S. military detention complex near Baghdad airport since his December 2003 capture near his hometown of Tikrit, north of Baghdad.

The novel was translated by Itsuko Hirata, a prolific journalist who has authored several books on Middle Eastern leaders. Hirata obtained the original Arabic manuscript from one of Saddam's lawyers along with the lawyer's approval to do the translation in April 2005, Chikaraishi said.

Saddam has also been credited with writing other books, including "The Fortified Citadel" and "Men and a City."

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