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, December 03, 2005

Saddam To Stand For Election?

Former Qatari justice minister, Najib al-Nuaimi, is quoted as saying that Iraqis have asked Saddam Hussein's defence team to consider fielding Saddam as a candidate for future elections.


"Iraqis have asked the defence team to study the legal conditions to present Saddam Hussein as a candidate for elections, first as an MP then as president. If this contradicts the legal system then president Saddam will be nominated simply as a candidate."

Nuaimi is one of the three foreign lawyers, former US attorney general Ramsey Clark and Jordanian lawyer Issam Ghazzawi being the other two, sworn in by the Iraqi court as members of Saddam's defence at Monday's hearing.

Ghazzawi said:

"As we were leaving Iraq on Tuesday ordinary Iraqis at the airport approached us saying they wished that Saddam would return (as president). These Iraqis said 'we have lost security after Saddam, how we wish he would return'."

Whilst the idea of Saddam standing, and even winning a seat, may be attractive to those who want to humiliate Bush and Blair; it is not right that man who stifled democracy, when he was in charge, should then use it as a "get out of jail card".

More to the point, if the current trial is speeded up, Saddam may find himself facing the death penalty long before he has the opportunity to stand for election.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Odd Couple

In a rather bizarre twist in the ongoing saga of the Saddam Hussein's trial, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark has taken it upon himself to join the defence team.

Clark met with Saddam after the shambolic events in the court house on Monday. Clark said that Saddam was in "very good spirits."

I would venture to suggest that this is because Saddam, so far, has managed to "call the shots" in the two days that he has appeared in court.

Clark said that they were initially left alone in the room, but then they were joined by two soldiers.

Clark is quoted as saying:

"Saddam has been in total isolation. He hasn't seen a member of his family, talked to a member of his family, met with a lawyer or met with friends he has known before."


"His mind was as clear and as sharp as ever."

Do I detect a degree of admiration emanating from Clark?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Saddam's Relative Kidnapped

It is reported that unknown gunmen have abducted Dhafir Hardan al-Hazzaa, a former army officer and relative of Saddam Hussein, in Tikrit.

The abduction took place on Monday night, and was perpetrated by a group of armed men.

It seems that Iraq is destined to remain in chaos for years.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Iraq's Credibility At Stake

After the shambolic scenes at Saddam Hussein's trial on Monday, where he stole the show and berated the judge and the Iraqi people, the Iraqi government has realised that its credibility is now at stake.

Iraqi Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, said that the trial and judgement should be "fair and just."

Zebari was speaking after meeting the French Foreign Minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, in Paris.

Zebari said that Iraq was doing its utmost to ensure Saddam's trial would take place with "the greatest transparency and justice."


"This trial is extremely important for the political and security situation in Iraq. I think we took a long time organizing it. We insist on doing it with the greatest transparency and justice."

Douste-Blazy said that the trial was "the opportunity for the Iraqi people to shine the light on all the crimes and injustices that are attributed to him."

The trouble is, if the Monday's events are anything to go by, it is clear that Nuremberg it isn't!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Witness From Beyond The Grave

The trial of Saddam Hussein resumed yesterday, needless to say the Saddam could not resist a touch of bravado.

Saddam berated Rizgar Amin, the presiding judge, over his (Saddam's) alleged ill-treatment at the hands of guards.

Ramsey Clark, a former US Attorney-General, attended the trial in order to ensure that there's fair play.


"My plan is to go to the court in Baghdad Monday morning, representing the Defence Counsel in this particular situation, who are threatened with death".

Clark wants the trial to be held outwith Iraq.

Before proceedings could get underway, Saddam lectured the court about the invasion; quote:

"They are in our country. You, you have the authority. You have sovereignty, you are Iraqi and they are westerners and they are invaders and occupiers."

He also had a complaint about the fact that the broken elevator, in the court, had meant that he had to walk up four flights of stairs.

Saddam was also miffed at having his pen and paper taken away by the guards, the judge ordered that he be given something to write with.

Judge Amin called on the prosecution to present its case against. The first trial relates to the 1982 massacre of more than 140 Shi'ites in the village of Dujail, allegedly murdered in response to a botched assassination attempt on Saddam.

The first prosecution witness, Waddah al-Sheikh a senior Iraqi intelligence officer, spoke from a pre recorded video tape; as he had died in hospital from cancer.

Al-Sheikh described how more than 400 men, women and children from Dujail, were rounded in response to gunmen opening fire on Saddam's motorcade.


"And I was confident through the interrogation that those who shot at the motorcade were no more than 12 people, and I don't know why they arrested that large number of citizens and I had no role in the arrest. "

The other 35 living witnesses will give testimony from behind a curtain, in order to protect them from assassination. It should be noted that the Chief Judge has also received death threats.

The trial has been adjourned until next week.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Saddam Hussein's Trial Resumes

The trial of Saddam Hussein has resumed today, amidst tight security.

He, and seven henchmen, are facing charges of murder and torture.

To date, two defence lawyers have been murdered; and the chief investigator and many witnesses have received death threats.

The trial is taking place in Baghdad's "green zone".

The trial began on October 19, and was adjourned for 40 days in order to give the defence more time to prepare.

Saddam has pleaded "not guilty", if he is found guilty he faces the death penalty.