[QODLink]
Middle East
Profile: Awad Hamed al-Bander
The chief judge in Saddam's Revolutionary Court issued the Dujail death sentences.
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2007 05:23 GMT

Al-Bander presided over the trials of 143 Dujail
villagers who were sentenced to death [AP]

Awad Hamed al-Bander was a chief judge under Saddam Hussein and was the head of the Revolutionary Court which ordered the execution of 143 residents of the village of Dujail after a failed assassination attempt on the president in 1982.

He was accused of presiding over a series of show trials which often lead to summary death sentences.

When al-Bander was brought before the Special Tribunal he became the first judge to be tried for using his court to justify political executions since the Nazi judges were brought before the Nuremburg trials after World War Two.

It was argued that he had only been following Saddam's orders in issuing the death sentences, but the court found that his actions were "in fact an order of murder and not a judgment issued by virtue of the law and in conformity with it".

Raouf Abdel-Rahman, the chief judge, questioned al-Bandar over the 1984 trial, asking how all the defendants could have fitted in the court. "Those who did not fit in the cage used to be allowed to stand outside the cage," al-Bandar replied.

Al-Bandar said the Dujail trial had lasted two weeks and that all the defendants had lawyers.

"How did you take the testimonies of 148 persons that quickly?" the judge asked him.

Al-Bandar said they had confessed. "We were at war with Iran and they confessed that they did their act at orders coming from Iran," he said.

He was found guilty of "committing a deliberate crime against humanity" and sentenced to death.

It was claimed that al-Bander had ordered the execution of 35 children, but he also denied this and continued to insist that his trials were fair.

"The accused had all their rights and were defended by their lawyers ... I am a judge and my deep conscience does not allow me to sentence someone under 20 to death," he said on April 16.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The conservative UMP party suffers from crippling internal divisions and extreme debt from mismanagement.
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
join our mailing list