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, February 03, 2006

Saddam Trial Postponed

It seems that Saddam Hussein will probably have died of old age before his trial actually reaches a conclusion.

Chief Judge Raouf Abdel Rahman adjourned the trial yesterday, until February the 13th, after hearing the testimony of two witnesses.

Khalil al-Dulaimi, Saddam's lawyer, said in a statement that chief prosecutor Jaafar al-Moussawi and Munkith al-Fatlawi were incapable of being impartial.


"Jaafar al-Moussawi has already issued a death sentence against my client. Fatlawi has claimed that president Saddam Hussein has executed his brothers."

I would venture to note, that as they are in the prosecution team it is not their job to be impartial.

Dulaimi and the rest of the defence team have been boycotting the trial since Wednesday, and claim that they will not return to court until the chief judge, Raouf Abdel Rahman.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Saddam Boycotts His Own Trial

The trial of Saddam Hussein continued today.

However, it lacked the main defendant; Saddam Hussein did not turn up, and his defence team said that they would not return to court unless the new chief judge resigned.

Saddam's seven co-defendants were also absent.

However, in a show of defiance, chief judge Raouf Abdel Rahman continued with the trial without them.

Abdel Rahman said:

"Because of the insistence of Saddam Hussein, Barzan al-Tikriti, Taha Yassin Ramadan and Awad al-Bander not to attend, the court has decided not to call them for this session and to review their opposition."


"The rest were present but were causing chaos."

Saddam, four former aides and their legal team had also boycotted Wednesday's session.

This is the only way to make progress, if Saddam chooses to absent himself through grandstanding then so be it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Delays, Delays, Damned Delays!

The start of yesterday's session of Saddam Hussein's trial was delayed yet again, as his defence lawyers boycotted the proceedings.

They are demanding that the new chief judge be removed, because of alleged bias against the former Iraqi leader.

The proceedings had been scheduled to convene at 11am local time. However, an hour later the court still was not sitting.

The defence lawyer, Khalil Dulaimi, issued a statement saying his team would "boycott the trial" until their demands were met.

Mr Dulaimi set out 11 conditions for the defence to end its boycott, including moving the trial "to a country which can offer security".

A court official blamed the delay on "procedural issues," but did not elaborate.


Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Trial To Reconvene?

The trial of Saddam Hussein may reconvene today.

However, there are reports that both he and his defence team will boycott it.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Australian PM In Kickback Scandal

The scandal engulfing the Australian wheat monopoly AWB, and its alleged kick backs in the oil for food programme, worsened as Australian Prime Minister John Howard denied that Australian officials had knowledge of millions of dollars in alleged kickbacks.

His comments were made in response to the publication of a July 2002 letter; in the letter Howard urged AWB's Managing Director, Andrew Lindberg, to stay "in close contact" with government officials as Iraq threatened to halve wheat imports from Australia because of its support for the United States.

AWB Ltd, formerly the Australian Wheat Board, is being investigated by the Australian government for allegedly paying US$221.7M in bogus fees to the Jordanian trucking firm Alia, which was part-owned by the Iraqi government.

The money was then allegedly diverted to Saddam Hussein.

The inquiry is at the request of the United Nations, which issued a report by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker in October 2005 that stated that AWB made the "side payments" in violation of U.N. sanctions.

Howard stated in the letter:

"The government cannot accept any Iraqi attempt to politicise our wheat trade or to pressure us into dropping our support for U.N. Security Council resolutions requiring international inspection of Iraq's (weapons) facilities.

In view of the importance of this matter, I suggest that the government and AWB Ltd. remain in close contact in order that we can jointly attempt to achieve a satisfactory outcome in the longer term

After the letter was sent, Lindberg visited Iraq with officials from Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

It is alleged that during that visit Lindberg agreed to pay Saddam's government US$2M in kickbacks, that were concealed in an inflated wheat contract.

Howard rejected the accusation that the government had known about the alleged kickbacks:

"We were in no way involved with the payment of bribes. We didn't condone them, we didn't have knowledge of them, but we did work closely with AWB."

"I would have been failing in my job as prime minister if I hadn't done everything I could to maintain and protect the wheat market because it was one of our best."

Kim Beazley, leader of the centre-left opposition Labor Party, said:

"Anything less (than a full enquiry) is a cover-up of what has been, to my mind, the worst piece of corruption I have seen in my 25 years as a federal politician at the federal level."

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Saddam's Trial Collapses Again!

Saddam Hussein's trial again collapsed into chaos after resuming briefly today.

The new chief judge in the trial, Raouf Abdel-Rahman, tried to bring control to the chaos but failed.

An anonymous female prosecution witness began to give testimony from behind a curtain.

Then, 15 minutes of the session's start, Saddam's co-defendant Barzan Ibrahim stood and asked to address the court.

Ibrahim called the court "the daughter of a whore."

At this point the censor intervened, and the delayed television feed showing the proceedings was cut off.

The judge ordered Ibrahim to sit down, shouting:

"One more word and I'm throwing you out."

Ibrahim refused to sit, and two guards grabbed him by the arms and after some pushing and shoving, dragged him out of the court.

As the fight went on, Saddam stood and shouted:

"Down with the traitors. Down with America."

The defence lawyers then joined in, and began shouting as well.

Abdel-Rahman asked:

"Is this a street demonstration, are you lawyers?"

The judge asked the Jordanian defence lawyer, Salih al-Armouti:

"Can you do this in your own courts in your country?"

Al-Armouti replied:

"My country gives me my rights."

Abdel-Rahman ordered al-Armouti to be removed from court, saying:

"You have incited your clients and we will start criminal proceedings against you."

The rest of the defence team then walked out.

Saddam then stood and said that he too wanted to leave the court.

Abdel-Rahman said:

"You do not leave, I allow you to leave when I want to".

Saddam replied:

"I was the president for 35 years."

The judge retorted:

"I am the judge and you are the defendant."

Two guards then pushed Saddam into his chair, but then the judge ordered them to take him out of the room.

Abdel-Rahman had been brought in to impose control on a trial, yet if today's disaster is anything to go by he is failing miserably.

Saddam's defence team said that they will file motions questioning the court's independence and legitimacy because of the shake-up among the judges.