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WAR: Saddam's Legal Team Considers Suing U.S. for War Crimes in Iraq

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posted on Nov, 22 2004 @ 11:15 PM
Members of Saddam's toppled regime are said to be considering filing a lawsuit in the World Court against President George W. Bush for war crimes. The legal team representing Saddam Hussein, which is based in Jordan, declined to name who among the members of the former government might file the suit or to provide their whereabouts. Saddam faces charges related to his having killed numerous rivals over the thirty years of his regime, gassing the Kurds, invading Iraq, and his efforts to suppress the Kurdish and Shiite uprisings following the Gulf War.

Associated Press

AMMAN, Jordan - Members of Saddam Hussein's ousted regime are considering suing the Bush administration in the World Court for alleged war crimes in Iraq, the chief of the former dictator's legal team said Monday.

Ziad al-Khasawneh told The Associated Press that Saddam's Jordan-based defense team could not initiate legal action on its own against the U.S. government in the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands, because the tribunal refuses to hear any individual cases.

"Since the World Court doesn't accept cases from individuals, the lawsuit could be filed on behalf of members of President Saddam's government," al-Khasawneh said.

He declined to identify any former Iraqi officials who might bring such a suit, or say if they were in Iraq or abroad.

It was not immediately clear if the lawsuit - if it were filed - would create a legal precedent or whether the World Court has heard cases previously from toppled governments.

"We are toying with the idea of filing the lawsuit," said al-Khasawneh, who heads the legal team appointed by Saddam's wife, Sajida.

He said the latest American incursion into the troubled city of Fallujah, including the killing of an apparently unarmed and wounded Iraqi by a U.S. Marine at a mosque, was "one of scores of examples of American atrocities."

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Although the World Court will not hear cases filed by individuals, it is possible that they might hear a case brought by Saddam's now defunct government. As most of those individuals are on the most wanted list, it is seems doubtful that many would be willing to come forward to file the suit, in my opinion.

Certainly there are many in the world who would welcome such a suit and it is likely that it would find a sympathetic ear in some legal venues. However, it seems doubtful that the charges against the President would hold, as there is no official policy of criminal activity, such as was the case in Saddam's government. Still, the statements by Kofi Annan that the American invasion was "illegal" have provided encouragement for this effort.

Personally, I feel this is political grandstanding and that such a case will not find it's way to the World Court.

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[edit on 04/11/22 by GradyPhilpott]

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