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June 06, 2005

Saddam's trial to begin soon

From the New York Times:

The Iraqi court set up to hear cases against Saddam Hussein and his top aides plans to bring him to trial by late summer or early fall in its first case, involving the 1982 killings of nearly 160 men from Dujail, a predominantly Shiite village north of Baghdad, after he survived an assassination attempt there, according to a senior Iraqi court official.

I liked the following, though...

[Laith Kubba, spokesman for Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari] said the government preferred an approach concentrating on 12 "fully documented cases," including Dujail, and that those would ensure that Mr. Hussein, 68, received the death sentence.

The Jaafari government has said it will apply the death penalty - available in Iraq's criminal code, drafted under Mr. Hussein -against those responsible for the worst Hussein-era crimes, as well as by insurgents who have wracked Iraq since his overthrow.

There were 500 some odd charges they could have filed, but they are focusing on the 12 best documented crimes. I wonder if they will also apply the torture and execution techniques Saddam used?

According to the Associated Press...

Kuba said the attack with chemical weapons on the Kurdish town of Halabja was one of the charges, but did not elaborate on the other 11. An estimated 5,000 people were killed in Halabja and 10,000 others were hurt in the gassing on March 16, 1988.

...and Fox News reports...

He was arraigned July 1 in Baghdad on broad charges including killing rival politicians over 30 years, gassing Kurds in the northern town of Halabja in 1988, invading Kuwait in 1990 and suppressing the Kurdish and Shiite uprising.

The NYTs stressed the involvement of US attorney's who disagreed with the speedy timetable the Iraqis are implementing. The objection appear to be over the trial coming before the adoption of a new Iraqi Constitution and full government elections. Then again the idea of how the courts should operate varies greatly between American  and Iraqi lawyers. American lawyers like delays because they get paid more.

Posted by Danny Carlton at June 6, 2005 08:44 AM

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