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

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Lawyers To Boycott Trial

The trial of Saddam Hussein is scheduled to restart on the 28th. However, this date may have to be changed.

It is reported that Saddam Hussein's defence team are asking for international security guarantees, after the murder of the second member of their team on Tuesday.

The lawyers are asking for a cancellation of the second day of hearings, set for November 28.

Lead counsel Khalil Al Dulaimi is quoted as saying:

"We're facing daily threats and these threats prevent us from going to our offices and the court and from interviewing the witnesses.

We call on the international community, the UN Security Council, the United States and all those involved to work on scrapping the criminal court as illegitimate, and also to pressure it to release President Saddam Hussein and his legitimate leadership team.

The defence committee has decided to consider the Nov. 28 date cancelled and illegitimate

The question is, who is behind the murders?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Another Defence Lawyer Killed

It seems that working as a defence lawyer in the Saddam Hussein trial is not a safe occupation.

Adel al-Zubeidi, who was representing former Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan, was shot to death and attorney Thamir al-Khuzaie was wounded in an ambush by 3 gunmen in a speeding car yesterday.

This is the second assassination of a lawyer associated with the trial, Saadoun al-Janabi was abducted and killed on 20th October. The defence team were already worried about their security, and had announced that they would not cooperate with the special court trying Saddam until security was assured.

Saddam's chief lawyer, Khalil al-Dulaimi, blamed the government for Tuesday's attack; he claimed that the assassins had used government vehicles.


"The aim of these organized attacks is to scare Arab and foreign lawyers. We call upon the international community, on top of them the Secretary-General of the United Nations, to send an investigative committee because the situation is unbearable."

He has requested that Saddam and his colleagues be moved to a neutral country.

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director of Human Rights Watch, said that Iraqi government needs "to reassess whether the conditions guaranteeing rights of every defendant exist."


"It is clear that whatever the government is doing is not working and is not adequate. They have to go back and figure out how to create conditions necessary for a fair trail, above all the safety of the defense team."

It is now being questioned as to whether the trial will resume on 28th November, as had been originally planned.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Heads Start To Roll

Whilst the world awaits the restart of Saddam Hussein's trial, others are now being judged and found guilty for associating with him.

Natwar Singh, India's foreign minister, was stripped of his post yesterday; over allegations that he benefited illegally from the UN oil-for-food program in Iraq.

He is the first head, of many I suspect, that will roll as a result of the fall out from the Volcker Report that revealed massive corruption in the effort to help Iraqis suffering under sanctions.

Volcker, has accused more than 2,200 companies and prominent politicians worldwide of colluding with Saddam Hussein's regime to milk the oil-for-food program of $1.8BN in kickbacks and illicit surcharges.

The oil-for-food program, theoretically, allowed Iraq to sell limited and then unlimited quantities of oil; as long as most of the money was used to buy humanitarian goods to help ordinary Iraqis cope with UN sanctions, imposed after Saddam's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

Needless to say, Saddam's government chose all the oil buyers and goods suppliers. A clear control risk, that the UN had they be competent/honest should have stopped.

India's Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, demoted Singh to minister without portfolio.

Singh and the ruling Congress party of India are alleged in the report to have benefited from the $64BN oil-for-food program, they are named as a "non-contractual beneficiary."

We can expect further high profile casualties in the coming weeks and months.

Benon Sevan, the program's executive director, is being investigated for allegedly accepting kickbacks.

French judges are investigating 10 French officials, including former UN ambassador Jean-Bernard Merimee, and business leaders under suspicion.

It seems to me that the UN was "naive" at best to think that this program would work, without the appropriate regulatory checks and balances. I turst that heads will roll there too.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Saddam's Guard On The Run

Isaac Meti Yosef Jago, one of Saddam Hussein's former palace bodyguards, is reportedly on the run in Wellington after allegedly defrauding an Auckland doctor of $129,500.

Jago allegedly tricked an Iraqi doctor, Haider Jasim, and his wife into handing over a cheque to buy a Mercedes.

Dr Jasim was approached by Jago offering a deal on a new S500 Mercedes from Auckland luxury car dealer, Coutts Cars.

He claimed that he could get a $55K discount on the car.

Jago was given a cheque for $129,500 made out to Coutts Car Services, the name he specified. Dr Jasim was given a receipt, and an agreement for sale of the car with Coutts Cars' name and stamp on it.

Allegedly Jago had opened a Kiwibank account, under the name Coutts Car Services, and had banked the cheque and then withdrawn all the money two days later.

Jago's landlord said he left for Wellington two weeks ago. Three men had collected his furniture.