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, May 19, 2006

Saddam The Musical

Itsuko Hirata, the Japanese translator of "Akuma No Dance (Devil's Dance)" a book (that went on sale this week) purportedly written by Saddam Hussein, has described Saddam as "misunderstood" and "delicate and tender."

Given that Saddam is facing war crimes charges, these are words that you would not normally associate with Saddam.

Hirata is quoted as saying:

"I think that Saddam Hussein was very much misunderstood. People think that he is tyrannical and rough with no education. But, if you read this book, you will understand how delicate and tender he really is."

The book tells the story of a tribe living along the Euphrates River 1,500 years ago, that defeats an invading tribe.

Saddam's daughter, Raghad, claims that her father finished the book just before the invasion of Iraq.

The book is being published in Japan.

Hirata said that it "should be made into a musical" and play "on Broadway."

Is he taking the piss?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Saddam May Be Able To Aid His Co-Defendant

Saddam Hussein may be able to testify on behalf of his former vice president next week, after a plea was made by his defence team yesterday to allow Saddam to speak up for those charged with him of crimes against humanity.

Judge Raouf Abdul Rahman noted that Iraqi law normally forbids defendants from defending their co-accused. However, he said that he would consider the request.

Saddam has previously taken personal responsibility for all the actions of the Iraq state during his rule.

Judge Raouf Abdul Rahman adjourned the trial until Monday.

Next week testimony will be heard on behalf of Baathist judge Awad al-Bandar, former vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan, Saddam's half brother Barzan al-Tikriti and Saddam himself.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Saddam Allowed To Attend His Own Trial

Saddam Hussein was allowed to attend his own trial today, contrary to yesterday's session where he was blocked by the judge from attending.

Chief judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman had rejected requests that all the defendants be allowed to attend on Tuesday, he said that their presence was not necessary.

However, today he changed his mind and told the court that all the defendants would be allowed to be present.

Witnesses on Tuesday and Wednesday were testifying on behalf of defendants Abdullah Kazim al-Ruwayyid and his son Mizhar, two local Baath Party officials accused of aiding the crackdown against Shiites in Dujail in 1982.

Three witnesses, two Dujail residents and a nephew of Abdullah al-Ruwayyid, told the court today that the al-Ruwayyids had nothing to do with the crackdown.

One Dujail resident said about Abdullah al-Ruwayyid:

"I saw him a month later, and never heard from any Dujail residents that he took part in any arrests with the security forces."

Saddam has argued that the crackdown was a legal response to the assassination attempt.

The trial continues.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Trial Continues Today Without Saddam

The trial of Saddam Hussein continues today, with further defence witnesses appearing.

Saddam is not in court.

Chief Judge Raouf Abdul Rahman said witnesses for three other defendants in the case would take the stand during the session, all are former local officials of Saddam's Baath party.


"The court will listen to the witnesses of the three defendants present. There are a number of witnesses and it may take up this session or even another one."

The defence team complained that Saddam, and some other defendants, had not been called to attend the session.

The judge dismissed their complaints saying:

"We let you attend so you can respond to anything the witnesses may say that affects your clients".

Monday, May 15, 2006

Saddam Refuses To Play Ball

The trial of Saddam Hussein has resumed, and true to form he has played to the gallery.

When the detailed charges were presented to Saddam, he refused to enter a plea and said:

"This is no way to treat the president of Iraq".

The Iraqi trial system allows the prosecution to outline its case first, which has happened, then the judge decides on the specific charges before the defence is allowed to present its case.

Chief Judge Raouf Abdul Rahman read out the charges:

"After allegations of coming under an assassination attempt, you issued orders to security forces and the army to arrest residents and use all weapons against them.

As a result for your orders to use force against Dujail residents, nine people were killed in the first two days...and 399 others were arrested

Saddam retorted:

"I can't just say yes or no to this. You read all this for the sake of public consumption, and I can't answer it in brief.

You are before Saddam Hussein, president of Iraq. I am the president of Iraq according to the will of the Iraqis and I am still the president up to this moment

The judge ordered that it be recorded that Saddam Hussein had denied the charges, and read out charges against the other defendants

Barzan al-Tikriti, Saddam's half brother and former head of the intelligence service, said:

"All you said are lies, everything you mentioned is a lie."

The defence is expected to take a month, unless there are delays and disruptions to the proceedings.