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

Friday, July 29, 2005

President Offers His Protection

The president of Iraq, Jalal Talabani, said yesterday that he would personally ensure the protection of the independent Iraqi tribunal preparing the trials of Saddam Hussein and his aides.

The trial has been threatened with a purge of its judges, prosecutors and officials.

President Jalal Talabani made his comments during a TV news conference with Raid Juhi, the judge investigating Saddam's crimes and one of the 19 tribunal members facing dismissal.

Talabani said:

"I will do my best to ensure that they are respected by other government parties, especially the De-Baathificaton Commission..I hope the members of the tribunal get appreciation and respect for the efforts they've exerted in administering justice."

Talabani stance directly challenges Chalabi.

Juhi said:

"We are still continuing our work,".

Some believe that Chalabi is trying to purge Juhi as vengeance for Moktada al-Sadr, the popular cleric who has led two uprisings against the Americans.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Saddam Hussein's Phonecard

A telephone card that bears an image of Saddam Hussein has been removed from the Brazilian market by Telefonica, after Sao Paulo prosecutors threatened the telephone company.

The card, featuring Hussein in the custody of soldiers one of whom is pointing his gun at Hussein, was issued by Telefonica in June as part of its "World History" series.

However, Telefonica withdrew the card this week after local prosecutors threatened to charge the company with inciting violence and racial intolerance.

It also alleged that the card represented only one view, that of the United States, of Hussein's situation.

Whilst the card itself might be considered to be rather tasteless, the reaction of the prosecutors in Sao Paulo is absurd.

The card represented a moment in history, whether one agrees with it or not, to deny that this moment happened is akin to burying one's head in the sand.

Doubtless those copies of the card that have been issued, will now become collectors' items.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Demands For Judge To Be Ousted

Aides to Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister, Ahmad Chalabi, have said that they will demand the dismissal of Raid Juhi the judge who has led the investigations of the mass killings committed under Saddam Hussein.

This demand will go in the face of US calls for restraint.

Raid Juhi is the most prominent of 19 judges, prosecutors and officials on the list of those to be purged from the Iraqi tribunal set up to try Saddam.

All of the 19 are former members of Saddam's Baath Party, and therefore legally ineligible to work for the tribunal.

However, Juhi as the tribunal's chief investigative judge is considered by the Americans to be central to the work of the tribunal.

Juhi has not commented publicly on the controversy. However, it is believed by some that Chalabi, who was once a favourite of the Pentagon, was using the issue as cover for a political manoeuvre to protect Muqtada al-Sadr, a Shiite cleric who is Chalabi's new political partner.

Juhi, in 2003 issued a warrant for the arrest of al-Sadr, who led two uprisings against U.S. troops last year, on murder charges. It is possible that Chalabi is trying to punish Juhi for this.

The warrant, held in abeyance by Iraqi officials as part of the deal that ended al-Sadr's rebellion, charged him with ordering the killing of Ayatollah Abdul Majid al-Khoei, a prominent Shiite cleric.

Chalabi formed a partnership with al-Sadr, for the elections held in January, and it is believed that he hopes to become prime minister after the next round of elections in December.

He would need the help of al-Sadr for these hopes to come to fruition.

Politics is very dirty business, and politicians' motives and actions should always be taken with a pinch of salt.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Saddam Hussein Requests Swedish Trial

Saddam Hussein has had his request for his trial to be held in Sweden turned down.

Justice ministry director Ann Marie Bolin Pennegaard said:

"We have said 'no'..Sweden has no intention of filing a request to the competent authorities in Iraq for a transfer of Saddam Hussein to Sweden before his trial," .


"Nor has Sweden considered the issue of establishing a seat of the Iraqi Special Tribunal in Sweden. It is also to be noted that there is no possibility under present Swedish legislation ... to let Saddam Hussein serve any possible sentence in a Swedish prison after his trial," .

According to reports Giovanni di Stefano, Saddam's attorney, will ask Iraq and the United Nations to file an official request for Sweden to accept Hussein before, during or after the trial.

He is quoted as saying:

"If Iraq or the UN sends a request to Sweden this could still happen. One couldn't stop an Egyptian ambassador from recently being kidnapped and murdered in Baghdad. And there is a war going on there, and how can one hold a trial when bombs are exploding outside the door?".


"It is no longer just about Saddam Hussein getting a fair trial but also about him getting a safe trial,".

Pennegaard responded by saying:

"If completely new information comes to light we will of course have to evaluate this again,".

I doubt that the Iraqis would be too pleased to lose the chance of trying him in his own country. That being said, the situation there is hardly stable; prviding security for the trial will prove to be a major headache.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Saddam's Assets Frozen

The U.S. Treasury on Thursday froze property and other assets in the United States of the six sons of the half brother of Saddam Hussein. The half brother is Sabawi Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti, who was captured earlier this year.

Stuart Levey, the Treasury's Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said:

"This action targets the money flows of former regime elements actively supporting attacks against coalition forces and the Iraqi people,".

Treasury did not provide any estimate of what the property or other assets are worth.

The sons designated by Treasury are Yasir Sabawi Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti, Omar Sabawi Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti, Ayman Sabawi Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti, Ibrahim Sabawi Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti, Bashar Sabawi Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti and S'ad Sabawi Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti.

The announcement said that the US government has information that Yasir, Omar, Ayman and Bashar provided support to elements of the former Baathist government and to groups carrying out attacks against Iraq and coalition forces, as well as against Iraqi citizens.

It is also alleged that Yasir, Omar and Bashar directed a number of anti-coalition activities in Iraq, and maintained communication with several insurgent groups throughout northern and central Iraq.

The department said it was submitting the names of the six individuals to the United Nations with the recommendation that they be listed under a resolution that requires U.N. member states to identify, freeze and transfer to a development fund assets of senior members of the former Iraqi government and their immediate family members.