Under pressure and with a lack of training, the Iraqi Special Tribunal intends to begin holding trials for war crimes committed by Saddam’s staff next week. However, they will not bring Saddam to trial first.
"There is a court process that involves investigative judges and a hearing for some of the former regime officials that is under preparation that we would expect to be held next week," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. "At that point, the accused and their attorneys do go to court, although that's not the actual trial."Saddam’s lawyers from Jordan have cried “illegal” in regards to holding trials so soon. They’re still upset that they haven’t been able to have contact with their despotic defendant since he was “arrested a year ago Monday”.
A lawyer for former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz said they were protesting the legality of their trials and their detention.The questions I had about this trial were: Why are they calling it a war crimes trial? Was Iraq in a state-of-war the entire time that Saddam was in power? Or are they only trying him for the criminal activities he performed during times of war? Well, my answer is that they are only trying him for the criminal activities he performed during times of war:
Saddam was presented with seven charges that included gassing thousands of Kurds in 1988, the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, the suppression of 1991 revolts by Kurds and Shiites, the murders of religious and political leaders and the mass displacement of Kurds in the 1980s.
I think they should just call this an Iraqi International Criminal Trial: For crimes he committed against the people of Iraq both during times of war and during peace times. He committed crimes such as murders, rapes, tortures, videotapes, beheadings, starvation, misappropriated funds, bribery,... and I’m certain there are plenty more crimes to list. It was obvious he did not care much for these people, but then again, Iraq seemed to be the only place he could have any rule because Jordan was taken, Iran was taken, Syria and Palestine were taken... he got Iraq. He assassinated someone in order to have the rule in Iraq. If he had cared for the people, he would not have treated them the way he did.
Apparently Saddam still has family fighting for his cause:
Allawi also announced the arrest of a cousin of Saddam's, Izzi-Din Mohammed Hassan al-Majid. Al-Majid, who fled Iraq in 1995 and was granted indefinite leave to remain in Britain in 2000, was arrested in Fallujah and will be put on trial as soon as possible, Allawi said.The Kansas City Star has the story from the Associated Press here.