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[casi] News, 01-08/05/03 (3)



News, 01-08/05/03 (3)

OLD IRAQI ORDER

*  Iraqi footballer tells of torture under Saddam
*  Baghdad's plan to influence Ritter
*  The Shia who survived his own execution

PROGRESS OF THE PRETEXT

*  Suspected Bioweapon Mobile Lab Recovered

REMNANTS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAQ

*  Ex-Iraqi U.N. Ambassador Favors Democracy
*  Dealing With Former Baathist Officials
*  US takes three Iraqi officials to custody
*  Process to try Iraqi PoWs could take months
*  Does America have legal rights to try Iraqi officials?
*  US seizes Iraq's "Mrs Anthrax" as interim leadership emerges
*  Sydney paper says it has tape allegedly recorded by Saddam this week
*  Full transcript of the Saddam tape
*  Coalition detains wanted Iraqi Baath party leade    
*  Iraq bank manager: Thieves, not Qusay


OLD IRAQI ORDER

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=834&ncid=731&e=10&u=/nm/2003
0503/wl_india_nm/india_114346

*  IRAQI FOOTBALLER TELLS OF TORTURE UNDER SADDAM
by Huda Majeed Saleh
Yahoo, 3rd May

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Losing a football game could usually cost a championship
or maybe a manager's job. It also shatters the dreams of supporters.

But in Saddam Hussein's Iraq it cost much more.

Run by Uday, the eldest son of the man who ruled Iraq for 24 years with an
iron fist until he was deposed in a U.S.-led war last month, losing on the
pitch meant imprisonment, beatings and sometimes starvation.

"We used to play under great psychological pressure because losing the match
meant punishment," Samir Kazim, a striker who played for Iraq's national
team between 1988-99, told Reuters.

"After each match the assistant coach counted every player's mistakes and
every mistake meant a whip, which was increased later to two whips," Kazim,
38, added.

He said Uday once imprisoned the entire youth team in a farm outside Baghdad
for a whole week with no food or water.

"After four days the whole team got sick as they were forced to drink water
contaminated with animal waste and eat animal food," he said. "Uday later
was forced to take them out of the farm on a recommendation of a doctor who
warned against an imminent outbreak of an epidemic," Kazim said.

The torture allegations are the latest told by Iraqi athletes who say they
suffered under Saddam's Iraq.

Former Iraqi athletes who had fled the country and are trying to prove that
Uday had sports stars tortured and killed for losing said last month they
feared the evidence had gone up in smoke in air strikes on the headquarters
of Iraq's National Olympic Committee, headed by Uday.

Some alleged that 52 athletes were murdered on the orders of Uday and others
in the Saddam clan.

Uday was regarded as Saddam's heir apparent until he was wounded in a gun
attack in 1996. His father put him in charge of the Olympic Committee and
the soccer federation in 1984, midway through the war with Iran, to secure
sporting success as a way to boost morale.

Uday did not only punish players for mistakes on the field.

He once whipped players for buying electrical appliances after a game in the
Kurdish town of Duhouk.

"One time I was hit 32 times on the sole of my feet along with 15 other team
mates for bringing electric devices from Duhouk where we played a match,"
Kazim said.

"One by one we were admitted to a room in the first floor of the committee
while others waited downstairs and as we were waiting we heard screams,"
Kazim said.

"I was the last one to be beaten. They beat me with a thick stick. I
tolerated the first 22 strikes but the remaining 10 were so burning that I
started to scream," he said.

"I walked with a hint of a limp for a week after the beating. My feet were
so swollen," he said.

Kazim said he will live in fear of Uday for as long as the fate of Saddam
and his two sons remains a mystery.

"A week ago an American network interviewed me but I asked them not to
broadcast it now fearing that Uday might watch it on television from his
hideout," he said.

Kazim said he wished he was younger so he could play in the post-Saddam era,
which he hoped would be better.

"I feel sorrow that I have to quit playing. I wish I was younger to play
with my old team mates who have returned to form a new soccer team without
fear and without Uday."


http://smh.com.au/articles/2003/05/05/1051987658018.html

*  BAGHDAD'S PLAN TO INFLUENCE RITTER
Sydney Morning Herald, 6th May

Iraq's intelligence services bought gold jewellery that they planned to give
to the wife and daughter of Scott Ritter, a filmmaker and former weapons
inspector, in a project to encourage him to work closely with Saddam
Hussein's regime, according to documents The Sunday Telegraph has
discovered.

The documents, found in the bombed headquarters of Iraq's intelligence
services in Baghdad, say the cost of the presents was approved at the
highest level to try to develop "strong relations with them [Mr Ritter's
family] that affect positively on our relations with him".

The documents say the gifts should be offered via an intermediary, Shakir
al-Khafaji, an Iraqi-American businessman and associate of Mr Ritter.

The documents, which are signed by the then director-general of Iraqi
intelligence, purport to reveal close links between Mr al-Khafaji and Iraqi
intelligence, and suggest that the regime was making available substantial
funds to offer him. Mr Ritter and Mr al-Khafaji said they received no gifts
or money.

The papers referred to the "Scott Ritter Project" and were found in a file
"Hosting in hotels 1997-2000", which held details of Iraqi intelligence
guests. They were in the same folder as reports of a visit to Baghdad in
1998 by an envoy of Osama bin Laden disclosed in The Sunday Telegraph.

Mr Ritter formed a partnership with Mr al-Khafaji to finance the documentary
Shifting Sands, which, according to Mr Ritter, "proved" that Iraq did not
have weapons of mass destruction.

In 2001, Mr Ritter said none of Mr al-Khafaji's funding came from Saddam's
regime. Of the $A630,000 film budget, he said his payment was $67,000.

He said he had Mr al-Khafaji checked by CIA "sources" through a friend who
was a reporter.

There is no suggestion in the documents that money or benefits were paid to
Mr al-Khafaji.

Mr Ritter said officials had offered a gold bracelet for his wife and to
finance the film. He said he rebuffed the attempts and filed reports to the
FBI and US Treasury. The Telegraph, London.


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,5944-670723,00.html

*  THE SHIA WHO SURVIVED HIS OWN EXECUTION
by Richard Beeston in Najaf
The Times, 6th May

THE eight members of the Iraqi execution squad were laughing and cursing as
they lined up their 50 prisoners in front of the large, sandy pit. Their
victims were made to squat down with their hands tied behind their backs.

Then, without ceremony, they were each dispatched with a burst of
machinegun-fire, before their bodies were rolled into the mass grave.

The purges of Shia Muslims by Saddam Hussein's security forces in the spring
of 1991 rate as one of the bloodiest episodes of his brutal rule. But the
crimes were supposed to remain undiscovered and had the killers not been so
overworked, they should have noticed that Hussein Rabia was still alive and
breathing, in spite of the terrible gunshot wound to his shoulder.

He returned to Iraq's killing fields for the first time yesterday to recount
his extraordinary story of survival and to pay respects to the thousands of
men and women, including four of his relatives, who made their last prayers
on this bleak desert landscape just north of this holy city.

When I approached him at a mass grave that was being excavated yesterday and
asked him to describe his ordeal, his first instinct was to run. Clutching
his five-year-old son, Ali, by the hand, he walked briskly away, muttering
that Saddam might still return to power and finish him off for good.
Eventually he was coaxed into recounting his story for The Times.

It began on March 26 at the height of the Iraqi campaign to crush the Shia
uprising, which had spread to every big town in the south. "We had to flee
our home because of fighting and we were returning in the car when we were
stopped at an army checkpoint," he said.

"They took five of us away and held us briefly at the Najaf hotel, which had
been turned into a holding centre for about 60 prisoners."

By then the city was full of Baath party loyalists, members of various
intelligence agencies and soldiers of the Republican Guard, who between them
co-ordinated the crackdown, which included the use of tanks and aircraft
against the rebels.

"We were then packed on to trucks and taken to the Baath party headquarters
in the industrial sector of the city. The place was full of soldiers and
secret police and about 500 prisoners, who were being taken off in batches
on the backs of trucks," he said.

With only his hands bound, he was able to see and hear exactly what was
going on. He recognised two senior members of the regime  Taha Yassin
Ramadan, Iraq's former Vice President, and Hussein Kamal, a member of
Saddam's family who was sent to the south to put down the Shia revolt. After
a short interval, Hussein Rabia was loaded on the back of a flatbed lorry
with about 50 other prisoners, including his 80-year-old uncle, and driven
about eight miles of out town to a military zone closed to the public.

"When we saw the hole, we knew what was coming. Some people were pleading
and begging and asking why. Others were praying. The guards just laughed.
They told us we were criminals and murderers," he said.

The men were made to squat down and each one was shot in turn by the
execution squad, which was made up of soldiers and intelligence officers
armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles.

Midway through the shootings, they stopped when Hussein Kamal drove by in a
car. The squad waited for his order. He lifted up his hand and, as though
swatting a fly, gave the signal for the killings to resume. Later Kamal,
Saddam's son-in-law, defected to the West before returning to Iraq, where
he, too, was killed.

"I was shot in the left shoulder, but they fired from about four metres
(13ft) away and only wounded me. I was covered in blood, so they probably
thought I was dead and pushed me into the pit, where I lay half-conscious.

"At one point I heard faint voices saying there were still some alive, but
then a new load of prisoners arrived to be killed and they left us," he
said. When he heard the lorry drive off, he opened his eyes. As night fell,
he and three other survivors, including one Saudi student, crawled out of
the 5ft-deep mass grave. They reached a group of shepherds near by, who
sheltered them for the night and gave them some milk.

The area was heavily patrolled by security forces, so the next day Hussein
waited for nightfall before finding a family in a local village willing to
take him in.

Throughout the account of his ordeal, Hussein remained clear and
dispassionate, until he recalled that poor village family who nursed him to
health. He broke down and wept at their kindness, at a time when humanity
seemed to have abandoned Iraq.

Too afraid to return home, he eventually fled to Iran, re-entered Iraq in
the northern Kurdish areas and, in 1992, went home to resume his life and to
father five more children.

"I have never told anyone this story: I was always too afraid until now," he
said.

Although this area is nominally under the control of US Marines, there was
still fear on his face. He said that there were many Baathists still walking
freely in Iraq, who had to be stopped from ever returning to power.

Above all, he wanted those responsible for the mass killings to be brought
to court. "In my case, I was never interrogated, tried or charged with
anything. No one even asked me my name.

"They just wanted to kill as many of us as possible," he said. "But I
lived."


PROGRESS OF THE PRETEXT

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A22694-2003May6.html

*  SUSPECTED BIOWEAPON MOBILE LAB RECOVERED
by Walter Pincus and Michael Dobbs
Washington Post, 7th May

A suspected mobile biological weapons lab has been recovered in northern
Iraq, a development that senior U.S. officials said yesterday would lend
support to Bush administration allegations of a banned weapons program by
the government of deposed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

A senior administration official said the Pentagon will announce today the
results of a two week investigation into a tractor-trailer truck that was
stolen from a government depot in the northern Iraqi town of Mosul and later
handed over to U.S. forces. He said equipment found on the truck included a
fermenter bolted to the floor that could be used for the production of
biological agents.

The official said the truck and the equipment inside it had been cleaned
with bleach and, therefore, did not show any identifiable residue of
biological agents. But intelligence analysts have concluded that "there
doesn't seem to be any legitimate use for it, other than as a biolab."

The existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs, in violation of
U.N. resolutions dating to 1991, was a major part of the Bush
administration's rationale for invading Iraq and overthrowing Hussein. But
the administration has been unable to point to concrete evidence of illegal
Iraqi weapons activity nearly a month after the fall of Baghdad to U.S.
forces.

The truck-mounted lab is of the type described by Secretary of State Colin
L. Powell to the U.N. Security Council in February, when he outlined what he
said was a pattern of concealment by the Hussein government.

But intelligence officials said yesterday that they were still trying to
determine whether it was ever used to produce biological agents and, if so,
when it was operated that way.

[.....]

Officials said the truck suspected of serving as a mobile biological lab was
stolen from an Iraqi government site near Mosul as Kurdish militia and U.S.
Special Forces units moved into the city. When the thief saw what he had
taken, he turned it over to Kurdish troops, who handed it over to U.S.
officials.

A senior administration official said the truck resembled one of the mobile
laboratories described by Powell in his Feb. 5 speech to the Security
Council. Powell used diagrams to describe the interior of the mobile labs,
based on what he said was information from an Iraqi chemical engineer who
had witnessed an accident in which 12 technicians died from exposure to
biological agents.

According to Powell, information from Iraqi defectors proved that Iraq had
"at least seven of these mobile biological agent factories." As he described
the system, two or three trucks would typically park alongside each other,
connected by hoses when they were in production mode.

A senior intelligence official said analysts had concluded that the truck
found near Mosul was not being used to transport equipment because the
fermenter was bolted down and the rest of the equipment and systems were
built-in.

U.N. inspectors who worked in Iraq after the 1991 Persian Gulf War heard
about the mobile trucks in interviews with Iraqi scientists, but they never
located one.

Terence Taylor, executive director of the International Institute for
Strategic Studies-U.S. and a former U.N. weapons inspector, said yesterday
that the mobile labs appeared to be linked to the Iraqi deception programs.
"We found evidence that, during the 1990s, the Iraqis were using container
trucks to move equipment away from inspectors," he said. "It was nothing to
move one extra step."

[.....]


REMNANTS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAQ

http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2003/may/01/050103372.html

*  EX-IRAQI U.N. AMBASSADOR FAVORS DEMOCRACY
Las Vegas Sun, 1st May

DOHA, Qatar (AP): Mohammed al-Douri, who as Iraq's U.N. ambassador
vigorously defended Saddam Hussein's regime until he acknowledged its fall,
said in an interview Thursday that Iraq should now have a democratic
government.

"The situation in the region has changed. Democracy is the way to go,"
al-Douri said in an live interview with Dubai-based al-Arabiya television.

Before any new government can be set up or win support of the people,
however, the former envoy to the United Nations said U.S. forces would first
have to leave Iraq.

"This should not be done while the occupation forces are still there,
otherwise people will not see this as legitimate and will contest it,"
al-Douri said.

The former diplomat, who left New York weeks ago for Syria, said Iraq must
establish an elected national authority and an agency to look into a new
constitution. The new constitution should be put to the people for a vote,
he said.

Thursday's interview appeared to take place in al-Arabiya's main studio
complex in the Persian Gulf city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Al-Douri
fielded call-in questions. Calls to al-Arabiya seeking details went
unanswered early Friday morning.

Al-Douri envisioned a constitution calling for a republic-style government
with a division of powers between the legislative, executive and judicial
branches. An elected president would serve four-year terms.

The constitution would also confirm that "Iraq is part of the Arab world."

Among other al-Douri recommendations was that the supreme law of the land
stipulate that "Islam is the official religion, with full respect and
recognition of other religious minorities in the country." But he said it
should not be an Islamic government.

It should also guarantee the freedom to establish different political
parties and allow the Kurdish minority self-rule in their regions. Arabic,
Turkmen and Kurdish would be deemed official languages.

Al-Douri emphasized the need for national unity in the new Iraq, saying
"those who think they are in power in Iraq, speak about numbers, the number
of Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, all this drives a wedge between all these
groups."

In the months of diplomatic wrangling before U.S.-led forces invaded,
Al-Douri vehemently defended Iraq at the United Nations, insisting his
country had no mass destruction weapons and was cooperating with U.N.
inspectors.

With U.S. troops making swift gains on the ground in early April, Al-Douri
was the first Iraqi official to acknowledge publicly that Saddam's rule was
over.


http://www.arabnews.com/Article.asp?ID=25780

*  DEALING WITH FORMER BAATHIST OFFICIALS
by Amir Taheri, Arab News Staff
Arab News (Saudi Arabia), 2nd May

As senior former Iraqi officials surrender or are captured one after
another, the United States and its allies must decide what to do with them.

The question is not academic. It could have long-range consequences not only
in Iraq but also in other countries with regimes similar to that of Saddam
Hussein, though none as murderous.

According to reports, the US has decided to offer some of the captured
officials freedom from prosecution, and even material rewards, in exchange
for information related to "more important matters." Such bargains are
routinely used in the US in fighting crime syndicates. The smaller fry are
offered lower sentences or immunity in exchange for helping send the bigger
fry behind bars.

If our information is correct, the US is offering such a deal to three
captured Baathists: former Vice Premier Mikhail Yuhanna (better known as
Tareq Aziz), former spymaster Farouq Hejazi, and one of Saddam's
half-brothers Barzan Al-Tikriti.

It would be foolish for the US to embark on such a course. People like Aziz,
Hejazi and Al Tikriti may or may not be the arch criminals that some Iraqis
take them to be. In fact, they must be presumed innocent until proven guilty
in a proper trial. But to save them from prosecution in the context of
secret deals would make a mockery of any system of justice that may be
created in a new Iraq.

Another option for dealing with the Baathists is to organize trials modeled
on the Nuremberg ones in post-Hitler Germany. Post-Saddam Iraq, however, is
different. Hitler won power in democratic elections and, at least initially,
enjoyed the support of a substantial segment of the German intellectual,
cultural and business elite. Throughout the Nazi era, a majority of Germans
actively, often enthusiastically, worked, killed and died for Hitler. At the
end of the war, the German nation as a whole bore collective responsibility
for what Hitler had done.

Iraq's experience under Saddam was quite different. The Baath Party never
won free elections in Iraq. It came to power with a military coup in 1968.
But even then it did not enjoy broad support within the Iraqi army. Over the
years, a majority of Iraqis were terrorized into submission to the regime.
But they never worked or fought for it with any conviction, let alone
enthusiasm.

German society in the immediate post-Hitler era lacked the legitimacy to
judge the Nazis. This is not the case with the post-Saddam Iraqi society. As
the primary victim of Saddam's regime, the people of Iraq have all the
legitimacy they need to try their oppressors.

Another option is for the Baathist chiefs to be tried by the newly created
International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague. The Bush administration,
however, has not recognized the ICC. It is also concerned that diplomatic
treachery by governments that still regret Saddam's demise might prevent the
new court from doing a proper job of prosecuting the Saddamites.

So what is the best course?

Instead of publishing lists of names and issuing playing cards of "wanted
men," the US must fix the principles under which Baathist officials will be
dealt with. Some are liable to charges of murder, in some cases mass murder.

The principles to be spelled out are simple. Some Baathist chiefs can be
charged with crimes against humanity for their role in the oppression of the
Iraqi people and the invasions of Iran and Kuwait. A few could face charges
of genocide, in connection with the Anfal campaign against the Kurds. An
international tribunal, patterned on that set up to try ex-Yugoslavia's
leaders, could try such individuals. Some former officials, like Saddam's
eldest son Uday, can be charged with individual acts of murder in addition
to charges of corruption. They can be tried in ordinary Iraqi criminal
courts. A majority of Baathist officials, at middle and lower levels, may be
open to lesser charges of corruption and brutality. They should be given a
chance to redeem themselves.

New Iraq needs a Truth and Reconciliation Commission patterned on that of
South Africa. The commission would invite all Baathists to confess their
crimes, accept punishment, and move on, allowing the nation to turn a
painful page.

It could take years, if not decades, before Iraq's psychological wounds are
healed. The Nazis ruled Germany for less than 13 years, and yet it took many
Germans half-a-century to recover from the experience. The Baathists ruled
Iraq for twice that long; a nightmare that might be harder to forget.

Germany cured itself by facing the truth. Iraq should do the same.


http://www.dailystarnews.com/200305/03/n3050301.htm

*  US TAKES THREE IRAQI OFFICIALS TO CUSTODY
Daily Star, Bangladesh, 3rd May

AP, Doha: The director of Iraq's office of military industrialisation and
one of Iraq's two vice presidents and a close confidant of Saddam Hussein
have been taken in custody by the US led military coalition, US Central
Command announced yesterday.

In a brief statement, Central Command identified the detained men as Abd al
Tawab Mullah Huwaysh, director of the Office of Military Industrialization,
and Taha Muhie-eldin Marouf, an Iraqi vice president and member of the
Revolutionary Command Council.

The statemnt did not give details of where the men were detained, where they
were being held or whether they surrendered or were seized.

Huwaysh was listed as No. 16 and the 10 of hearts on the coalition's list of
the 55 most wanted figures from Saddam's regime and Maruf was No. 42 and the
nine of diamonds.

Huwaysh was also a deputy prime minister and his ministry also served as
Iraq's chief weapons acquisition agency.

Marouf was the only Kurd in the Baath hierarchy. He was appointed as one of
Iraq's two vice presidents in 1975, but the position is seen largely as a
gesture to the Kurdish minority and he had little real power.

Born into a prominent family in Kurd-dominated northern Iraq in 1924, Marouf
joined the Baath Party in 1968 and has held several ministerial posts. He
has also served as ambassador to Italy, Malta and Albania.

The statement came several hours after the US military in Baghdad said that
a man said to be a close confidant of Saddam was under arrest Friday after
being taken into custody in the Iraqi capital.

The announcement at the US Army's V Corps headquarters said Mizban Khadr
Hadi, a member of Saddam's Revolutionary Command Council and a top Baath
Party leader, was captured Thursday in the area of Baghdad controlled by the
U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division.

The announcement also said Muhammad Mahdi al-Salih, the former minister of
trade, had been arrested Thursday as well. But the US military in Washington
had already reported his arrest on April 23. The US Central Command in Doha,
Qatar, could not immediately reconcile the discrepancy and it issued no
statement on Hadi's reported arrest.

Hadi is No. 41 on the US coalition's list of the 55 most-wanted figures.

He was among Saddam's most trusted aides who were elevated by the Iraqi
leader in March to command the country's four military regions in an attempt
by the Iraqi leader to delegate command and strengthen the defence of his
country against the American invasion that came later that month.

Hadi was placed in charge of the area that included the Shiite Muslim holy
cities of Karbala and Najaf.

In May 2001, Hadi was put in charge of the party's Farmers' Central Office.

Hadi was reportedly extremely close to Saddam and has been one of his
advisers, especially on Shiite affairs, since the early 1980s.

He has been a minister without porfolio since June 1982 and before that was
governor of Najaf. He was decorated by Saddam for his services during the
1991 Gulf War and the month-long Shiite rebellion that followed Iraq's
defeat.

V Corps headquarters, based near Baghdad's airport, had no further details.


http://www.dawn.com/2003/05/03/int20.htm

*  PROCESS TO TRY IRAQI POWS COULD TAKE MONTHS
by Sue Pleming
Dawn, from Reuters, 3rd May

WASHINGTON: With more than a dozen key Iraqi officials in custody, the
United States is debating how best to deal with them and other suspects in
what officials and experts said on Monday would be a long and complicated
legal process.

Kurds and others oppressed by ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's regime,
Kuwaitis with grievances from the 1991 Gulf War and Iranians wanting
retribution from the Iran-Iraq war, are among those expected to join the
United States in demanding justice.

"The tricky part will be for the Americans to design a legal process which
lets everyone have a bite of the apple," said Paul Williams, a law professor
from American University and a former State Department official.

Experts said the most likely scenario was for the United States to try those
accused of crimes against US personnel in US military courts while Iraqi-led
courts with the help of other Arab countries such as Jordan and Egypt, would
handle crimes against Iraqis.

Third-party countries such as Kuwait and Iran would get a chance to
prosecute crimes and Truth and Reconciliation Commissions such as those in
South Africa might also be used.

United Nations involvement in prosecuting war crimes was an unlikely option
as was the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands of which the
United States was not a signatory.

The State Department's war crimes office is devising a plan to deal with
those accused of the most egregious crimes against the Iraqi people. Many of
those are on the Pentagon's deck of cards listing the 55 most wanted Iraqis,
of whom at least 13 have already been caught.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said last week some of the captive
leaders of the toppled Iraqi government could face criminal charges but he
said where and how these trials could be conducted had not been decided.

A State Department official said it could take many months or even longer
before a legal system was in place to deal with Iraqis in US custody.

"We have some individuals in custody. We are talking to them, we are
scouring over documents, we are looking into suspected mass grave sites.
There's a huge investigative effort going on," the official said.

One challenge facing US government lawyers was to determine which victims
held the greatest stake over where a person should be charged and under what
statutes.

"There's no prohibition in international law on trying one individual in
different countries. How that is all going to be worked out and who has the
greatest equity will have to be discussed and determined," the official
said.

The State Department has mountains of documents and evidence against Saddam
and his lieutenants, drawing from groups such as Human Rights Watch, the
Pentagon and extensive US intelligence information.

Several legal experts pointed out it suited the US military to stall on any
major legal decision because this gave interrogators more time to draw
information out of Iraqis in custody, particularly those on the deck of
cards who could provide information on possible weapons of mass destruction.

In addition, some suspects could provide key information but there might not
be enough evidence for legal action.

Eugene Fidell of the National Institute of Military Justice, said in the
case of arrested former deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz, he might be
morally responsible for some abuses but not criminally responsible.


http://www.dailystarnews.com/200305/06/n3050602.htm

*  DOES AMERICA HAVE LEGAL RIGHTS TO TRY IRAQI OFFICIALS?
by Harun ur Rashid
Daily Star, Bangladesh, 6th May

[.....]

The short answer is No. The arguments are canvassed below:

First, the International Criminal Court was set up in accordance with the
1998 Statute of Rome to which 122 states including Bangladesh have signed
and more than 65 states have ratified. The US withdrew from it and by
withdrawing its signature from the Statute of Rome, the US has ceased to
have any legal and moral right to initiate any prosecution of any Iraqi
officials for crimes and humanity before the Court. The Bush administration
withdrew from it on the ground that its citizen should not submit to the
jurisdiction of the Court. If a US citizen cannot be tried in the
International Criminal Court, likewise no Iraqi citizen should stand trial
before the Court.

Second, under the Statute of Rome, a trial can be held before the
International Criminal Court if the accused is a citizen of a state that
ratified the Statute or if the crime is committed in a country that ratified
the Statute. None is applicable to Iraqi nationals. This being the case, no
Iraqi official can be put on trial before the International Criminal Court.
The only exception is in the case of crimes that are so horrific that the UN
Security Council decides to put suspected individuals on trial before the
International Criminal Court. This means that the US will have to refer the
matter to the Security Council for a suitable decision.

Third, the US waged war on Iraq without UN authority. The UN Charter made it
very clear that war is outlawed except in the case of an attack or imminent
attack. Iraq did not attack the US and therefore by all canons of
international law, the US had no right to launch an attack on Iraq. The US
is a founder-member of the UN and signed the Charter which is a multilateral
treaty and under Article 2 (2) of the Charter the US must fulfil in good
faith the obligations in accordance with the Charter. The US has been in
clear material breach of the UN Charter and thus it became an aggressor
state.

Fourth, the US, being an aggressor state, forfeits the right to put on trial
any Iraqi official before any international tribunal or domestic tribunal in
the US. Rather there is a strong case for laying charges under international
law against US leaders and military commanders who are responsible for
crimes against peace and war crimes. By waging unprovoked war on Iraq, the
US has destabilised international peace and security and committed crimes
against peace. Furthermore, war weapons used in Iraq were not only
disproportionate to the threat warranted but also did not distinguish
between combatants and civilians resulting into deaths of thousands of
civilians including women and children. This indiscriminate use of weapons
constitutes war crimes under the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention.

Fifth, with regard to Halabja massacre, the US could be accused of
indirectly responsible for such atrocities because it continued to sell to
the former Saddam regime the ingredients of chemical weapons for another 20
months after the Halabja occurrence.

Furthermore in February, 1989 the US Assistant Secretary of State John Kelly
flew to Baghdad and met with former President Saddam Hussein and categorised
him as a "moderate leader" in the region and sought cooperation in resolving
the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

Sixth, another fact that merits attention is that the US used chemical
weapons ( napalm and phosphorus) in the Vietnam wars in the 60s and 70s and
Vietnamese people have been suffering until this day. Has any US leader or
military personnel been put on trial and convicted for such barbaric crimes?
Did Henry Kissinger who had a special degree of responsibility in Vietnam
war face any trial? In a book titled " The Trial of Henry Kissinger" (2001)
noted US journalist Christopher Hitchens unmasked Henry Kissinger as a "war
criminal".

Finally, the US as an occupying power in Iraq has been grossly negligent in
restraining looters who ransacked the historic Baghdad Museum, a heritage of
humankind and art galleries. It failed to impose any control on acts of
inflicting "cultural genocide" in Iraq. The US is accused of relinquishing
legal responsibility of an occupying power despite the massive presence of
US forces with lethal weapons in Iraq. This inaction is a serious violation
of the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Convention.

For all these grounds, no country, least of all the US, has the authority or
competence to put Iraqi officials, now held under custody, on trial before
any international or domestic tribunal. On the other hand there is a strong
case for laying criminal charges under international law against US leaders
and military commanders for waging bloodlust in Iraq.

It is reported that a Geneva-based private group has already filed charges
in Switzerland against the leaders of the US and Britain on behalf of Iraqi
nationals whose members of family had been victims of war in Iraq. In
Belgium, a case has been lodged against the Military Commander of the
Anglo-American alliance Tommy Franks on the ground that 19 civilians were
killed on March 20, the day of the commencement of war.

Realising the legal loopholes, in recent days US Defence Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld reportedly told that US government lawyers had not decided whether
any senior Iraqi official being held would face criminal charges. He however
kept option for Iraqi courts saying that some could be tried in US,
international or Iraqi courts, although a US venue was "not our first
choice".

Who has the right?

Individuals who had committed, or responsible for, crimes during the former
Saddam Hussein regime should not go unpunished. It is the Iraqi national
courts, established under proper law, that will have jurisdiction to try
them in public. The legitimacy of national laws will depend on in the
make-up of the elected legislative body representing all ethnic and
religious groups in Iraq and secondly on whether laws have been enacted
taking account of internationally recognised norms of human rights. This
implies that a broad-based democratic government in Iraq will have the right
to put them on trial for alleged crimes under procedures established by law.
The trial must be free, open and fair and accused persons must have adequate
legal representation to defend themselves during trial.

Barrister Harun ur Rashid is a former Bangladesh Ambassador to the UN,
Geneva.


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20030506/wl_mideast_afp/i
raq_worldwrap&cid=1514&ncid=1478

*  US SEIZES IRAQ'S "MRS ANTHRAX" AS INTERIM LEADERSHIP EMERGES
Yahoo, 5th May

BAGHDAD (AFP) - The United States has announced the capture of a top female
biological weapons scientist from Saddam Hussein's regime and named a list
of Iraqis who could form the core of an interim government.

Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, dubbed "Mrs Anthrax", ranked 53 on the US list of
the 55 most wanted Iraqis.

She was the only woman on the list, and was portrayed as the five of hearts
on the playing cards of wanted Iraqis produced by the US Defense Department.
It described her as a "weapons of mass destruction scientist".

The United States made it clear it considered the detention of the
49-year-old scientist as a major catch, as it struggles to uncover the
biological and chemical weapons on whose existence it justified military
action against deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

"This (capture) would be very important to the coalition in their ability to
get additional information about the scope of the BW (biological warfare)
programme," a US official said.

Ammash appeared in a videotape of Saddam meeting top advisers aired shortly
after the start of the US-led war on March 20.

[.....]


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20030507/wl_mideast_afp/i
raq_saddam_australia&cid=1514&ncid=1478

*  SYDNEY PAPER SAYS IT HAS TAPE ALLEGEDLY RECORDED BY SADDAM THIS WEEK
Yahoo, 7th May

SYDNEY (AFP) - An Australian newspaper has reported that its staff in
Baghdad had obtained an audiotape allegedly recorded this week by deposed
Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

The Sydney Morning Herald said two men gave the tape to its staff after
being unable to deliver it to correspondents for the Arab TV station
al-Jazeera.

In the 15-minute recording, allegedly made by Saddam on Monday, a
"tired-sounding" voice calls on Iraq's people to unite in an underground war
against the US-led occupying forces, the newspaper reported.

"We have to go back to the secret style of struggle that we began our life
with ... your main task is to kick the enemy out from our country," the
voice is quoted as saying.

"Through this secret means, I am talking to you from inside Great Iraq and I
say to you, the main task for you, Arab and Kurd, Shia and Sunni, Muslim and
Christian and the whole Iraqi people of all religions, your main task is to
kick the enemy out from our country," it said.

The speaker made several references to the occupation of the country since
Saddam's regime was ousted last month and accused US forces of carrying out
looting of antiquities at the Iraqi National Museum.

The Sydney Morning Herald said it had played the tape to 13 Iraqis from all
walks of life, including a former acquaintance of Saddam and people from his
home region of Tikrit, and "the overwhelming opinion was that the voice and
rhetoric were very similar, or identical, to those of Saddam".

"Certainly it's him," a judge from a Baghdad criminal court, who asked not
to be named, told the newspaper.

"I am 100 per cent certain. I deal with physical evidence all the time," he
said.

Talib al Shar'aa, a law professor at Baghdad University, said the tape
"sounded very realistically like Saddam Hussein".

"This is the first time he has admitted the reality of the occupation," he
told the Herald.

"He focuses on the word occupation, and he admits to being in hiding and
working by secret means. And it sounds to me like this speech is new because
he mentioned the Iraqi people celebrating his birthday on April 28, 2003,"
he said.

The newspaper said two men speaking with the accent of the Tikrit region
approached its reporters' car -- clearly marked "press" -- on Monday outsite
the Palestine Hotel which houses much of the international media in Baghdad.

One man asked for directions to the offices of the al-Jazeera or al-Arabiya
television stations, but when told they were inside the hotel he balked at
entering the building which was guarded by US troops.

He then handed the tape to the Australians, saying it had been recorded that
morning by Saddam.

Saddam and his close aides were the target of two US bombing and missile
attacks during the US-led invasion of Iraq which began on March 20.

During the war he appeared in a number of videotaped messages which were
authenticated by US intelligence services but has not been seen or heard
from since US forces stormed into Baghdad a month ago.

US officials say they do not know whether Saddam is dead or alive.


http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/05/07/1051987718936.html

*  FULL TRANSCRIPT OF THE SADDAM TAPE
Sydney Morning Herald, 7th May

"In the name of God most gracious most merciful we praise our messengers and
their followers in life. In the next life they will have justice.

Iraqi people, great Iraqi people, women and men, and the Iraqi armed forces
and all people who want to change their attitude about their enemies, peace
be upon you all. I don't want to talk in details about the occupation and
why and how, and I am going to focus on how to face these invaders and kick
them out from Iraq, coughs, I addressed some messages before, many messages
before. Some of them were by my voice and some were addressed to the mass
media, but we know and you know very well the mass media in the whole world
is controlled by the Zionists, and especially by its headquarters in the
White House.

Therefore we have tried hard to address our messages by many many ways, and
some of them reached you people in the Iraqi governates, and some will reach
them sooner. In any case, it sounds as if we have to go back to the secret
style of struggle that we began our life with.

Through this secret means I am talking to you from inside Great Iraq and I
say to you, the main task for you, Arab and Kurd, Shia and Sunni, Muslim and
Christian and the whole Iraqi people of all religions, your main task is to
kick the enemy out from our country.

You have to believe that he who is working with the foreigners is working
against you. He is not only a servant for foreigners, he is an enemy of God
and an enemy of the people as well. Reject these people and reject anything
that will divide you, Iraqi people. Be united all under your flag, under the
Iraqi flag, under the slogan Allahu Akhbar, all in one trench. The Iraqi
people must keep their own civilisation in which they are one country, one
people, as they are now.

Your enemy came to Iraq and they thought that the Iraqi people would receive
them with flowers but they were surprised. Some people now are changing
their minds about the Americans and the occupation. We have no option but to
struggle and satisfy God and high principles and ourselves as well.

Now, some people who supported the Americans and the occupiers are now
changing their minds, step by step. Now everyone is going to change their
minds, and they know what is best for them and their family. Their familiy
is Iraq.

But they will not understand everything unless they know the whole truth
about themselves.

The Iraqi people challenged the whole world by celebrating the 28th of April
(Saddam's birthday) and asserted that this festivity was not forced on them
by Saddam Hussein or by the authorities, It was an Iraqi decision, because
they consider Saddam Hussein as a brother or as a father to them. And this
is just to express of their free will that nobody forced them to do it or to
live in any way against their will. It is their true attitude towards Saddam
Hussein.

The Iraqis want to challenge the occupation and say to all humanity, yes,
the occupiers could occupy Iraq, but they will never be able to change the
Iraqi heart's love for Saddam Hussein and their country.

Some of these people admired the west and described it as the free world,
but it is not. And genuine people would never care about the western media,
because it is controlled by Zionists. Especially the two administrations in
Washington and London, which are controlled by the Zioinist media. They tell
many, many lies, and you Iraqi people have won your moral battle because the
Americans destroyed Iraq and stole Iraq's ancient archaeology by destroying
the Iraqi National Museum.

This time we are standing against America, a tryant power that rules the
world. You Iraqi people will shame the Americans as the Palestinians shame
the Zionists. The Zionists are baffled how to fight the Palestiniain people
and you the Iraqi people, men and women, stand together against the invasion
and show your stance as much as you can by writing on walls, or making
positive demonstrations or not selling them anything or buying anything from
them, or by shooting them with your rifles and trying to destroy their
cannons and tanks.

The most import ant thing is that each Iraqi man or woman has his own duty,
child or older person, which he must do, and if they miss anything they have
to make up for it the next day, and if they miss a week they have to make up
for it the following week. Don't let the Americans settle in Iraq.

Each day and every day you must express how you resist the occupation, and
the eye of God will be on you and on all people who take a stand against the
occu pation. And god will honour his people, and god will love the people
who redeem themselves, and we must not be sad and helpless, and God will
love he who works for victory. Victory is coming, God willing, and you have
to satisfy your God before yourself.

Then victory will come from the love of god. And of course God will ease our
task because there is no victory without the support of God.

Work hard, work hard through this to win paradise and then victory will be
visible. Work hard for God, Iraqi people, Iraqi women, Iraqi men, and we are
with you. We are working with you.

Victory is coming, God willing. They want to extinguish the light of God by
their tongues but God will complete his victory. Allahu akbhar, Allah is the
greatest, and shame on the American government and a curse on them until
judgement day."


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20030507/wl_afp/iraq_us_c
apture&cid=1512&ncid=1480

*  COALITION DETAINS WANTED IRAQI BAATH PARTY LEADER
Yahoo, 7th May

Ghazi Hammud al-Ubaydi was Baath Party Regional Command chairman and Baath
militia leader for Wasit governorate, centred on the city of Al-Kut, about
150 kilometres (90 miles) south of Baghdad, a statement released Wednesday
said.

Ubaydi, "now in Coalition custody", according to Centcom, was number 32 on
the US list of 55 most wanted Iraqis and the two of hearts in the pack of
cards issued to assist US troops.

The statement did not say if he had been arrested or had surrendered to the
US-led coalition.

He would be the 20th Iraqi on the wanted list to be detained if US
authorities confirm the capture of Mizban Khidir Hadi, a former member of
the Revolutionary Command Council, the highest body within the deposed
government, as reported Saturday by the Washington Post.

On Monday, a US defence official said troops had detained a top female
scientist involved in Iraq's weapons programs, Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash,
dubbed "Mrs Anthrax".

Ammash, 47, was the only woman on the list, which is headed by the elusive
Saddam Hussein. Washington considered her a major catch as it steps up the
hunt for evidence of the banned nuclear, biological and chemical weapons it
accuses Baghdad of developing.

She was described as a "weapons of mass destruction scientist," appointed to
the ousted ruling Baath Party's regional command in 2001 and believed to
have been a leader of its biological warfare program.

However Saddam and his two sons have so far escaped coalition clutches, and
the Australian Sydney Morning Herald daily on Wednesday said it had received
what seemed to be a tape of a call for Iraqis to remain loyal, recorded by
Saddam this week.

The best known of Iraqi officials in detention is deputy prime minister
Tareq Aziz who surrendered on April 24.


http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030506-124152-1175r

*  IRAQ BANK MANAGER: THIEVES, NOT QUSAY
by Ghassan al-Kadi
United Press International, 6th May

BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 6: A top Iraqi banker Tuesday denied a news report that
accused Saddam Hussein's younger son, Qusay, of taking $1 billion in cash
from Iraq's Central Bank a day before the United States launched its war
against the Arab nation. He said the money was looted by professional
thieves.

Diyaa Habib al-Khayoun, general manager of al-Rafidain Bank, told United
Press International that some $250 million and 18 billion Iraqi dinars were
stolen from the bank, but Qusay had nothing to do with it.

"No money has been withdrawn from the bank's main headquarters or branches"
by any official of the former regime, including Qusay, al-Khayoun said.

The comments followed Tuesday's New York Times report that said Qusay took
$1 billion in cash from Iraq's Central Bank at about 4 a.m. March 18, one
day before the United States launched the war to topple his father's regime.

The Times quoted an unidentified Iraqi senior banking official as saying,
"When you get an order from Saddam Hussein, you do not discuss it."

Three tractor-trailers were needed to carry the money, the newspaper said.
The haul took a team of workers two hours to load, and was completed before
employees of the Baghdad bank arrived for work.

Al-Khayoun, however, said "professional thieves succeeded in opening the
safe" of al Rafidain's 70 branches in Baghdad "and in stealing their
content" in the weeks following Saddam's ouster and Baghdad's capture by
U.S. forces. Al-Rafidain reportedly had roughly $4 billion in hard currency
reserves before the war.

In Washington the U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher confirmed
the Times report.

"We do know from Treasury Department officials in Baghdad that approximately
$1 billion was taken from the Iraqi Central Bank by Saddam Hussein and his
family just prior to the start of combat operations," he said, adding leads
would be "actively" followed up.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said, "As a general statement it is not
surprising that Iraqis would try to get their ill-gotten loot out of the
country and flee."

He said the United States had tracking systems that may be able to find the
money.

"Wherever it is, it is a source of concern for the Iraqi people and
therefore a source of concern for the United States government," he said.
"We'll do everything we can through the normal means of the Treasury
Department, through diplomacy, to get that money returned."

Al-Khayoun also said U.S. forces helped foil an attempt to steal $250
million from two branches of the bank in Baghdad. Al-Rafidain employees
arrived just as thieves were about to open the safe, he said, and the
rescued money was moved to a safe in the bank's headquarters under the guard
of U.S. troops.

He said the total deposits in al-Rafidain's 170 branches across Iraq
amounted to "a trillion Iraqi dinars" and assured depositors their money "is
well preserved and will be returned to them in the near future because bank
records have been preserved on computer disks that were not touched by the
thieves."

Before the war, the dinar plummeted in street value to about 2,700 dinars to
$1, and its future as Iraq's unit of currency is as yet uncertain.

[.....]




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