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, January 27, 2006

Saddam To Sue Bush and Blair

In a pure act of theatrical bravado, Saddam Hussein has announced that he wishes to sue President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair for war crimes.

Defence lawyers working for Saddam have given the media copies of the suit. It blames Bush and Blair for destroying Iraq, and accuses them of committing war crimes by using weapons of mass destruction.

The suit goes on to claim that coalition forces used internationally banned weapons in their military manoeuvres in Iraq; including enriched uranium and phosphoric and cluster bombs against unarmed Iraqi civilians, specifically in Baghdad, Fallujah, Ramadi, al-Kaem and Anbar province.

In November, the U.S. military admitted to using white phosphorous munitions "sparingly" as an incendiary weapon against enemy troops during the Fallujah assault. The military strongly denied using the banned substance against civilians, as some critics have charged, and said that its military use is not banned.

The suit then goes on to accuse Bush and Blair of torturing Iraqi prisoners, polluting Iraq's air, water and environment, inciting internal strife and destroying the country's cultural heritage with the aim of eliminating an ancient civilisation.

Hussein's legal team said that it intends to start legal action against Bush and Blair in the International Criminal Court in the Hague, and the suit demands that they appear before the court to answer the charges and requested the harshest punishment available according to Dutch legislation and the rules of international and humanitarian laws.

Cna this trial become any more bizarre?

The suit is also seeking compensation for "all material and moral damage inflicted on the Iraqi people."

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Gorgeous George In Trouble - Again!

George Galloway MP (sometimes nicknamed "Gorgeous"), scourge of the Labour Party, Congress, the Daily Telegraph and evicted from the Big Brother house last night, is in trouble again.

This time there is video footage of him shaking hands with Saddam Hussein's son, Uday Hussein.

Uday was an alleged rapist, torturer and convicted murderer.

The video, obtained by The Sun, shows the Respect MP participating in a 20 minute meeting with Uday in an Iraqi palace in 1999.

In the video, Galloway is seen to greet Uday, shaking his hand twice and calling him "Excellency."

During his exchange with Uday he is reportedly seen to joke about losing weight, going bald and failing to give up smoking cigars.

Galloway, being a respecter of freedom of speech, then also orders watching journalists not to publish parts of their conversation.

Finally, according to the Sun, he taunts the US and vows to stick with Uday "until the end".

The video was allegedly shot for an Iraqi TV station, and was smuggled out of Iraq before the regime fell.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Farce Continues

It seems that the phrases "well run" and "trial of Saddam Hussein" are oxymorons.

Saddam's trial was meant to resume yesterday. However, rather unsurprisingly, it has been postponed yet again this time until Sunday.

This time the dispute centres on the appointment of a the new presiding judge, who was appointed in a last-minute shake-up

Raid Juhi, a judge and spokesman for the tribunal, said that the trial was being delayed because some witnesses and complainants were out of the country making the pilgrimage to Mecca.

However, his statement is being pooh-poohed by the media; who had waited for over four hours for the trial to start.

Anyone with any nounce can reason that if the delay was really down to the absence of witnesses, then this issue would have been raised earlier.

The real reason for the delay appears to be a disagreement among the judges over the replacement of Rizgar Muhammad Amin, the Kurdish judge who has presided over the trial until now.

Judge Amin was scheduled to be replaced by his deputy, Said al-Hammash. However, Judge Hammash was passed over by the tribunal after a commission, which was charged with removing former high-level members of the Baath Party, accused the judge of having been a Baathist.

Instead, Raouf Rasheed Abdel Rahman, was appointed Monday as the new presiding judge for the trial.

Needless to say, that decision reflected badly upon the perceived independence of the trial. As such the tribunal are now squabbling amogst themselves.

In fact, it seems that the tribunal is beset by the same partisan politics that have been unleashed by the "regime change", and that are currently tearing Iraq apart.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

New Judge Named

The Baghdad Tribunal, trying Saddam Hussein, has chosen Rauf Rashid Abdel Rahman to fill in for the presiding judge who recently resinged.

The trial resumes today.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Who's To Judge?

Saddam Hussein's trial resumes again tomorrow. However, the court still has to decide who will be the chief judge.

Judge Rizkar Mohammed Amin announced his resignation earlier this month, and court officials are still trying to persuade him to change his mind.

In fact, the cabinet has yet to accept the resignation.

Amin said that he was stepping down, after being criticised for being too lenient with the defendants.

If the resignation is accepted, the five member court panel will have to vote on a new presiding judge. In the meantime the next most senior member of the panel, Said al-Hammashi, is expected to preside.

Within days of reports saying he would succeed Amin, Hammashi came under attack from the de-Baathification Committee.

The committee claimed Hammashi was a former active member of the Baath party, and should not preside over the trial.

Who has totally clean hands in this trial?