It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
THE STATUTE OF THE IRAQI SPECIAL TRIBUNAL
a) A Tribunal is hereby established and shall be known as The Iraqi Special Tribunal (the “Tribunal”). The jurisdiction and functioning of the Tribunal and its associated bodies as defined in Article 3 below shall be governed by the provisions of this Statute. The Tribunal shall be an independent entity and not associated with any Iraqi government departments.
d) The Governing Council or the Successor Government, if it deems necessary, can appoint non-Iraqi judges who have experience in the crimes encompassed in this statute, and who shall be persons of high moral character, impartiality and integrity.
While an anonymous Iraqi judge nominally conducted the affair, US officials were clearly in control. There was a small and carefully vetted audience. No American military uniforms were present but, as the New York Times explained: “[O]fficials of the new Iraqi government were seated with three American reporters and three American officials: two lawyers advising the Iraqi judge, and a United States Navy admiral acting as a spokesman who attended in tan chinos and a yellow, short-sleeved sports shirt.”
Saddam Hussein in court: a show trial made in the USA, Peter Symonds, 5 July 2004, available at www.wsws.org...
The American government has tried to portray itself as working in a purely advisory capacity, but has been at the forefront of several crucial elements of the trial. For one thing, it has provided $138 million to build, over the course of a year, the state-of-the-art courthouse that sits at the heart of the fortified Green Zone, which also contains the American embassy and the headquarters of the Iraqi government. Members of the Regime Crimes Liaison Office, attached to the embassy, have thoroughly aided the investigatory process, including overseeing excavations of mass graves.
Saddam Hussein Goes on Trial for Crimes Against Humanity, New York Times, 19 October, 2005.
American lawyers and law enforcement agents have been dispatched to sift through the evidence against Mr. Hussein, dig up mass graves for forensic proof of his crimes and develop the prosecution strategy. Americans guiding the process say they are taking pains to preserve independence and credibility. American expertise is needed now to rebuild a judiciary eroded under Mr. Hussein's rule. But with time and training, they say, Iraqis will be in full control. "The tribunal, the statute, can be seen as a microcosm of the larger undertaking," said Richard Dicker, head of transitional justice for Human Rights Watch, the New York-based rights group. "It's an occupation-supported effort with Iraqi judges and lawyers." The Federal Bureau of Investigation is leading the investigation, along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and agents from the Justice Department.
The American military is guarding Mr. Hussein, even as he is transferred to the legal custody of the Iraqis. Washington is financing the court.
Somini Sengupta and John F. Burns, Hussein’s Trial Offers both Peril and Promise to Iraq and US, New York Times, 30 June, 2004
American forensic team, including more than a dozen archaeologists, anthropologists, and technicians, is midway through the grisly process of transforming this mass grave into courtroom evidence against Hussein and his henchmen that meets the strictest international legal standards. This is the first of 10 sites that Kehoe plans to excavate… Kehoe's team set up shop here on Sept. 1, and only this week finished exhuming about 200 bodies from the two trenches. A laboratory team will spend another two months cataloguing and analyzing the remains… For the last six weeks, a forensic team several dozen strong, including anthropologists and archaeologists, has been reconstructing in excruciating detail the mass murder that took place on the outskirts of Hatra…In a long morgue tent at FOB Jaguar, P. Willey, an anthropology professor on leave from California State University, Chico, supervised the analysis of the remains. Willey said his team doesn't have to examine every body in the grave, just a representative sample. So his morgue is processing the remains of only 125 bodies from the trench full of women and children. The Regime Crimes Liaison Office, which Kehoe heads, got $75 million for two years of work.
Thanassis Cambanis, Boston Globe, October 13, 2004
At an estimated cost of $75 million, the U.S. government is financing and overseeing the tribunal investigations, sifting through mounds of documents, training the prosecutors, investigators and judges. For many Iraqis and other Arabs, any trial of Saddam inevitably will be seen as an American production.
Uncertainties mark Saddam Hussein trial, Charles Hanley, AP, 3 July, 2004 available at www.duckdaotsu.org...
The head of the U.S. Regime Crimes Liaison Office, Greg Kehoe, has had contact with the U.S. intelligence officials who control most of the Baathist archives, now stored in Qatar.
Saddam Hussein’s Trial, Washington Post, July 2, 2004
Ridha Jawad Taki, a senior official in the country's biggest Shiite party, believes that “the court should be more active. Saddam was captured two years ago. ... The weakness of this court might affect the verdicts, and this is worrying us."
Hamza Hendawi, Saddam Lashes out at U.S. as Trial Resumes, AP, Nov. 28, 2005
Ridha Jwad Taqi, head of the political office of SCIRI, another Shi'ite party in the government declared: "The Americans have attempted to Americanize the court so it appeals to their public, but it has to be run in an Iraqi way," he said. "We can't continue this way, we have to find a solution quickly ... The people who suffered so much under Saddam are severely disappointed with this court." (ID)
Luke Baker, Doubts and questions deepen as Saddam trial to resume, Reuter, Sun Dec 4, 2005.
Ali Dabagh, a Shi'ite member of the Transitional National Assembly declared: ''The judge is giving too much leeway to Saddam. He should respect the Iraqis and the victims' feelings."
Thanassis Cambanis, Flash of old Hussein Sets off Ripples, Boston Globe, Nov. 29, 2005
Members of Iraq’s executive and legislative branches are exerting pressure on the Iraqi High Criminal Court. Shiite legislator Ali al-Adeeb, a senior official in Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari's party, declared: “"The chief judge should be changed and replaced by someone who is strict and courageous." (Goes to “objective standard” of the court’s impartiality as a whole in the eyes of a reasonable man)
Hamza Hendawi, Saddam Lashes out at U.S. as Trial Resumes, AP, 28 Nov., 2005
A source close to Kurdish judge Rizgar Amin himself told Reuters that tribunal officials were trying to talk him out of his decision but he was reluctant to stay on because Shi'ite leaders had criticized him for being "soft" on Saddam in court. "He tendered his resignation to the court a few days ago but the court rejected it. Now talks are under way to convince him to go back on his decision," he said on Saturday. “He's under a lot of pressure. The whole court is under political pressure.”
Ahmed Rasheed, Govt tries to persuade Saddam judge not to quit, Reuter, Jan. 15th, 2006
“This evil man has to face the death penalty. The international tribunal in the Hague cannot order the death penalty.”
Senator Joe Lieberman, NBC TV, 14 Dec 2003
In New York, Human Rights Watch said it was concerned about al-Amiri's removal. "This appears to be improper interference in the independence of the tribunal, and may greatly damage the court," the group said in a statement signed by Richard Dicker, director of its International Justice Program. Similar criticism was raised in Saddam's other trial for the deaths of Shiite Muslims in the town of Dujail following an assassination attempt on his presidential motorcade.
Sameer Yacoub and Jamal Halaby, New Judge Tosses Saddam from Courtroom, AP, October 3, 2006 available at ap.washingtontimes.com...
“‘Calling for a separation of the judiciary and legislative branches of the government, Salem Chalabi declared: ‘It is a separate judiciary, but in practice it is not clear and does not stand up to the politicians’”
Anupama Narayanswamy, Ex-Official Fears Bill Will Weaken Saddam Tribunal, Washington Times, October 11, 2005 available at www.washingtontimes.com/world/20051010-103118-6130r
"There is strong evidence of genocide against the former regime, but based on our observations from the Dujail massacre trial, we believe the court is ill-equipped to conduct a trial of such a magnitude against a head of a state," Nehal Bhuta of the New York-based watchdog Human Rights Watch told AFP. "We saw in the Dujail trial a lot of political pressure to speed it up and reach the verdict as soon as possible even as the court suffered from dozens of procedural flaws," Bhuta said.
Analysts fear Saddam trial collapse, AFP, August 18, 2006 available at iafrica.com...
At first, the Bush administration appointed Salem Chalabi to try Saddam Hussein. Salem Chalabi is the nephew of former CIA man Ahmed Chalabi and the lead lawyer for a number of international companies doing business in Iraq. The Bush administration only removed him from the case after his uncle lost favour with Washington over ties to Iran.
Aaron Glantz, Justice for Saddam and his Victims, antiwar.com, June 16, 2005 available at www.antiwar.com...
Manipulating the trial's timing is the real story. Why suddenly this week? A fortnight ago, at Chatham House in London, Iraq's president, Jalal Talabani, said he did not know when the trial would take place. Within days a date was fixed, conveniently diverting reporters' attention from the referendum count. With the issue out of the spotlight, it is a fair bet that when the official result is declared - perhaps today - the announcement that the constitution has passed will be treated as pretty dull since we already "know" that from the weekend leaks by Condoleezza Rice, Jack Straw and the Iraqi government.
Jonathan Steele, Saddam's trial is merely a political sideshow, Guardian Unlimited, October 21, 2005 available at www.guardian.co.uk...
"We wanted a written promise before the first meeting of the new parliament. But later and during a meeting in the presence of American and British ambassadors and other politicians, the promise became oral in which he vowed not to oppose important rules and laws - especially those related to Saddam," Deputy Parliament Speaker Khaled Al Attiyah told reporters.
Meanwhile, CNN reported Tuesday that US officials tried to persuade Iraqi officials to delay Hussein's execution for up to two weeks in order to help combat the impression that the death sentence was carried out in retribution. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki allegedly refused US requests to delay the hanging, instead insisting that the execution be carried out before Eid. US officials are also said to have been concerned with the legal process [JURIST report] leading up to the execution, in particular the status of the constitutional requirement [JURIST report] that a death warrant be approved by Iraq's president and vice-president, which created a problem as President Jalal Talabani, an opponent of the death penalty, refused to sign any warrant himself [JURIST report]. A panel of Iraqi judges ultimately ruled that the constitutional provision was void in the context of the law governing the sentence handed down by the Iraqi High Tribunal, but the process was rushed.