The Trial of Saddam Hussein and The Fallout of The War

The Trial of Saddam Hussein


The fallout in the Middle East from the regime change in Iraq

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Saddam Hussein Appears In Opera

Saddam Hussein has now taken on a new role in his career, he is taking centre stage in an Australian production of Verdi's opera "Nabucco".

The opera, opened at Sydney Opera House this week, tells the biblical story of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar driving the people of Jerusalem out of the Holy Temple; and his power struggle with his daughter Abigaille, whom he adopted when she was a slave.

The director, David Freeman, is quoted as saying:

"It's trying to give edge to a work which once had an edge, but that edge was Italian politics..It's making it about the politics of today."

Freeman has cast Nebuchadnezzar as Saddam in his opening appearance on stage; wearing a gun, hat, gangster suit and mustache.

In the final appearance he is portrayed as a crazed figure, with shaggy hair and a beard.

Freeman said:

"I came across a few years ago ... a poster in the style of a painted Hollywood poster of the 1930s ... of Saddam Hussein as Nebuchadnezzar. In his chariot with four white horses charging out into the desert and him with Nebuchadnezzar's bow in his arm but there's also an Exocet (missile) and a helicopter and a destroyer in the picture as well."


"To be an absolute ruler and a very tyrannical ruler who even was killing members of his own family and then have your world reduced to virtually a coffin underground, that is a Shakespearean metaphor..It's like King Lear."

The opera will continue until August 12.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Push For An Early Trial

Ibrahim Jaafari, the Prime Minister of Iraq, is applying pressure to magistrates investigating Saddam Hussein for war crimes.

Jaafari wants the trial to start in a month or two. The deadline is due to the fact that there will be an election in December.

This seems to be at variance with the preferred US position for a full war crimes trial; the benefits of which, from the US perspective, would be that they would use the trial to justify the rationale for the invasion of Iraq.

Jaafari told reporters:

"We cannot pinpoint a specific date, maybe a month or two...Maybe Aug. 15 or Sept. 15....But we have succeeded in making the deadline not to exceed three months, instead of being open-ended."

However, tribunal rules are that there must be a 45-day delay between a judge referring a case for trial and courtroom proceedings. The referral can only be once an investigation is complete.

It is considered unlikely that the investigation will finish before mid-August.

Despite the political wish to speed things up, the law must be followed; it is after all going to be the bedrock of a democratic and free Iraq, which is why (so we are all told) the war was started in the first place.

Badea Aref, a lawyer for Tareq Aziz, Saddam Hussein's former deputy prime minister, said:

"No. A thousand times No. They can't do it, not even in September...I even doubt they can do it this year. It is very, very difficult. The investigation needs time. This talk is not about legal facts. It is political rhetoric,".

Saddam and 11 of his top lieutenants are being held at a U.S. military camp at Baghdad airport. A special courtroom is nearly completed in the fortified compound in the city centre, that once housed his presidential palaces.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Sun Stands Firm

Following on from yesterday's article about Saddam Hussein suing The Sun, for publishing photos of him in his jail cell in his underwear, The Sun has come out defiantly saying that they will see him in court.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Saddam May Sue Sun

David Price, a London media lawyer, has been approached to advise on Saddam Hussein's prospects of success in a high court human rights claim over photographs of him in his underpants, washing his trousers, shuffling around and sleeping; all of which appeared on the front page of the Sun.

Price has been approached by Saddam's family, and it is speculated that Saddam would have a good chance of winning a claim for misuse of private information as a result of the Human Rights Act.

However, given his current circumstances, it is unlikely that he would benefit very much from any damages awarded.

It is reported that another legal firm had been approached to handle this case. However, they turned it down due to the risk of action by terrorist and pressure groups.

I thought that the regime change engineered in Iraq was meant to lessen the terrorist threat?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Charges

The Iraqi government announced this month that Saddam Hussein would face 12 charges of crimes against humanity.

This is despite the fact that there are more than 500 confirmed cases against him.

Leith Kubba, an Iraqi government spokesman, is quoted as saying:

"The 12 chosen charges are more than enough to give him the maximum sentence applicable,".

Six of the twelve charges relate to the most barbaric incidents during the Hussein regime. These are:

  • The execution of more than 145 Iraqis in 1982 in Dujail

  • The murder, by gassing, of nearly 5,000 people in the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988

  • The execution of political and religious leaders during the 35 years in power

  • The killing and deportation of more than 10,000 members of the Kurdish Barzani tribe

  • The 1991 suppression of a Shi'ite uprising in southern Iraq

  • The illegal occupation of Kuwait in 1991

Hussein's Novel Banned

Jordan has banned the printing and publication of a novel allegedly written by the former dictator of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, in order to avoid upsetting the new administration in Iraq.

The novel is called "Ikhruj Minha Ya Mal'oun", which roughly translates as "get out of it you damned".

The novel tells the story of a man called "Hasqil", who moves to the city of "al-Mutarrah" where he conspires to expel the Sheikh of the city. However, the daughter of the Sheikh helps one of the "knights" from her family to expel this man.