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[casi-analysis] Iraq News Analysis: Dec 23, 2003

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In a message dated 23/12/03 11:08:10 GMT Standard Time, writes:

> As Bush and Blair both clear the path for an Iraqi trial, the Iraqi
> Governing Council is expected to appoint some 20 judges to investigate
> Saddam-era crimes.

> I think most of the world thinks such matters have nothing to do with Bush
> and Blair at all, both of whom are widely regarded as guilty of crimes
> against the Iraqi people. Few people will be impressed with a Court appointed by
> the IGC which is widely regarded as no more than a Coalition puppet
> organisation.  Any judges so appointed will not be very widely regarded as independent,
> especially when Members of the IGC, echoing Bush, have demanded the Death
> Penalty for a man not yet charged.

The trial of Saddam in Iraq by Iraqis is vital for the
> country's rehabilitation and will give closure to the darkest chapter in
> Iraq's history. It is insensitive to the victims of Saddam to demand anything
> other than an Iraqi trial and several experts have commented that it is
> presumptuous and arrogant of the world to think that Iraqi judges are incapable.

I submit that the demands of international law should take complete priority
over the claimed 'needs' of the Iraqi people. International law surely demands
that Saddam should be tried for the many alleged crimes against international
law, like the gassing of the Kurds, and the wars against Iran and Kuwait.
These cannot be ignored because the prosecution might embarrass the Coalition-Is
gassing morally/ or legally superior to Napalm/Agent Orange/Depleted Uranium?
Is invading Iran or Kuwait more reprehensible, or more illegal than invading
Iraq? The biggest risk of a domestic Iraqi trial for which Bush and Blair are
pressing is that Saddam will be denied the opportunity to expose the
allegations as hypocritical.

I find it strange that those people who are complaining at widespread concern
over Iraq's lack of experience in dealing with sophisticated legal trials do
not complain about coalition assessments that Iraqis are not yet capable of
democratic government. It would be quite reasonable for Saddam to be tried by an
independent Iraqi Court for Iraqi crimes after the international trial.

If he is held incommunicado and questioned by US much longer, most Courts
would probably regard any claimed evidence as inadmissable.


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