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, October 15, 2005

Iraq Constitutional Vote

Iraq goes to the polls today, to vote on the proposed new constitution.

Security is very tight, all traffic is banned, voting stations opened at 7 am and are due to close at 5 pm.

Some opinion polls suggest that the constitution will be ratified. In which case, the voters in December will be able to elect a fully empowered four year parliament.

A ratified constitution will hopefully stabilise the country.

Friday, October 14, 2005

British Lawyer To Defend Saddam Hussein

It seems that Anthony Scrivener QC, a top British lawyer, may defend Saddam Hussein in his forthcoming trial which starts on the 19th of October.

Anthony Scrivener QC, who helped free four wrongly convicted Irish prisoners known as the Guildford Four, will travel to Baghdad to represent Saddam.

Although it is confirmed that Scrivener has been approached to take the job, it is still not yet clear as to whether he has accepted the role.

Senior clerk at Scrivener's chambers, Martin Hart, is quoted as saying:

"Mr. Scrivener has been approached by the people involved in the case but it is wrong to say that he has been instructed on the case."

He added:

"He cannot comment about any case, whether it be Saddam Hussein or Mrs Mop, even if he has not yet taken it. There is a possibility he might take this case, so it would be inappropriate to comment."

The legal team, who will defend Saddam, has been put together by Iraqi born barrister Abdul Haq Al Ani.

Al Ani reportedly told the BBC:

"He (Saddam) is in high spirits and he is very defiant. The man is very, very tough mentally."

The basis of the defence's case will be the argument that any executions approved of by Saddam were no different to the approval given by a US governor, under similar circumstances.

It is noted that President George W. Bush approved of 152 executions when he was governor of Texas.

The defence will also argue that, as head of state, Saddam enjoyed full immunity.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Saddam Hussein's Trial

Saddam, and seven co-defendants, will go on trial on the 19th of October; if all goes according to plan.

There will be no jury, instead there will be three judges.

The chief judge will be able to question witnesses.

The US have stated that the Iraqi judges have received special training from American, British and Australian experts. They will also have access to help from international advisers during the trial.

Saddam will have the right to call witnesses and, if convicted, he will have the right to lodge appeals before any sentence is carried out.

If he is sentenced to death, as seems highly likely, he must be executed within 30 days of the ruling on his last appeal.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Saddam Has The Vote

It seems that Iraqi law will allow Saddam Hussein, and thousands of other Iraqi detainees who have not been brought to trial, to vote in this weekend's constitutional referendum.

Abdul Hussein Hindawi, the head of the Independent Electoral Commission in Iraq, said that it was still waiting for a full list from the Interior Ministry and the US-led coalition of the detainees who should be allowed to receive ballots and vote on Saturday at Abu Ghraib prison and several other US detention centers.


"All non-convicted detainees have the right to vote. That includes Saddam and other former government officials. They will vote."

The vote on Saturday is crucial for Iraq, and may hold the key to defusing the already highly charged atmosphere in Iraq between Sunnis and Shias.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Saddam's Lawyer Tries To Stop Trial

Khalil Dulaimi, Saddam Hussein's lawyer, is trying to stop the trial of Saddam starting on the 19th of October.

He has filed petitions challenging the date of Saddam's trial and the jurisdiction of the Special Iraqi Tribunal.

Khalil Dulaimi was served a written notification from the special court, on the 25th of September, designating October the 19th as the starting date.

Dulaimi has challenged the date of the trial, on the basis of two weeks notice not being enough time to review the documents and evidence.

He is trying to extend the review period to 45 days.

Additionally, Dulaimi has filed a challenge to the jurisdiction of the Iraqi Special Tribunal.

Somehow or other, I think that he does not stand much chance with these petitions; the verdict, I suspect, has already been reached.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Saddam Hussein's Trial May Never Happen

Salem Hussein, the nephew of Ahmed Chalabi and Iraq's former Special Tribunal Director, gave an address to the American Enterprise Unit in which he said that:

"Saddam Hussein may never come to trial".

Saddam's defence team believe that the Iraqi Special Tribunal is illegitimate.

Additionally, the worsening security situation in Iraq will hinder the ability of the government to hold the trial there.

Indeed, Iraq is teetering on the brink of civil war; in that event it will be all but impossible to hold the trial there.