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Monday, December 29, 2003

Alawi: Saddam will be Tried in Secret; Withdrawal Timeline for US Troops to be Negotiated

Alawi: Saddam will be Tried in Secret; Withdrawal Timeline for US Troops to be Negotiated

Saddam's trial is unlikely to be public, according to Iyad Alawi, member of the Interim Governing Council and head of the Iraqi National Accord (mainly ex-Baathist officers who cooperated in 1990s CIA plots against Saddam). Alawi made the remarks in an interview with the London-based al-Hayat newspaper. He said there would probably be no public trial because "it is possible that he will mention names of states or persons to whom he gave money . . ." Asked if Saddam had admitted to smuggling money abroad, Alawi replied, "He has begun to admit it. He has confessed to important things." [Saddam is thought to have squirreled $30 bn. or more away in secret accounts overseas.]

Alawi said of the trial of Saddam, "Naturally, it will be an Iraqi trial, before Iraqi judges. You published in al-Hayat that even 3 weeks before his capture, I had completed gathering evidence and confessions from Iraqi intelligence officers, and had forwarded that information to the judge in charge of the official inquiry in Iraq . . ." [including cases against persons who tried to kill Alawi himself] . . . "Now there is a file for his trial in Iraq for the crimes that he committed against the Iraqi people, in an Iraqi court, with Iraqi judges. If other countries have cases against him, they can lodge charges after the Iraqi trial has finished. But I expect the judgment to be clear, in the framework of the Iraqi criminal statutes, that is, he will be executed."

On the possibility of a public trial for Saddam: "I don't think so. That subject has not been discussed so far. I don't believe so. It will be like any other trial for any other criminal, except that Saddam's crimes have been bewildering, horrifying, and extensive. There is another thing, the possibility that he will mention the names of states and the names of persons to whom he has given bribes and wealth. We don't want him to mention all that on television. There are lots of existing documents, and we don't want to worsen Iraq's relations with others. And we don't want such matters to be interpreted in irrational or subjective ways." He said that since other countries, such as Kuwait or Lebanon, might file charges against Saddam, the issues were complex. But the important thing, he said, was that Saddam would be tried in Iraqi courts with full legitimacy and legality.

I woiuldn't worry about this. The security situatiuon is so bad that the rumor of a secret trail may start the civil war. Did they ask Sistani for his opinion? I think the Shia want a open trial so people know what he did to them. I don't worry much about a trial of Saddam in Iraq. Because there isn't enough security to have it.

posted by Steve @ 11:00:00 PM

11:00:00 PM

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