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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] Keep your eye on the ball- US policy in Iraq is ONLY about the reelection of GWB next November. Plans are now to saturate CNN with a new "trial of the century" next summer. pg >From the Chicago Tribune Council is considering trial of absent Hussein December 11, 2003 BAGHDAD -- Iraq's political leaders may mount a war crimes trial against Saddam Hussein even if he is never captured, members of the Iraqi Governing Council said Wednesday, raising the prospect of a dramatic, albeit symbolic, courtroom spectacle. A trial of Hussein would have little legal consequence because Iraqi law requires that a defendant convicted in absentia receive a new hearing if arrested, according to Iraqi legal experts. Nevertheless, in announcing the formation Wednesday of a war crimes tribunal for leaders of the former regime, council members said that presenting witnesses and evidence against the former dictator would provide the Iraqi people the ultimate accounting for three decades of violence and repression. "Saddam Hussein will be accused and charged with committing crimes against humanity and the Iraqi people. He will certainly come under the jurisdiction of this court," ****said Ahmed Chalabi,*** a member of the U.S.-appointed Governing Council. The court will be operated entirely by Iraqi judges and lawyers, a feature that has drawn criticism from human-rights groups who worry that it will not benefit from international expertise in the handling of war crimes cases. Likewise, some international justice experts questioned whether a high-profile Hussein trial--with no defendant--could undermine the stature of the new court. "I think a trial in absentia is a bad idea if it lends itself to a show-trial atmosphere that does not serve the interests of justice in Iraq," said Richard Dicker, head of the international justice program at New York-based Human Rights Watch. The council will assemble the staff and infrastructure for the tribunal during the next several months, Iraqi officials said. ****The first trial is unlikely before July****, when the U.S. is set to hand over political authority to a provisional Iraqi government. Before that, however, some of the 38 former Baath Party leaders now in U.S. hands may be transferred to Iraqi custody. Newsday http://tinyurl.com/yt5j For int'l CNN TV, just before US election. All the photos of Saddam's atrocities are being collected now & processed for TV. Cute. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk