Saddam's translator: Hollywood-style capture

Saddam Hussein's former translator has said the US will not allow the ex-Iraqi president to be tried in public because of potentially damaging revelations.

    Al-Majid with Saddam after a 1998 meeting with Kofi Annan in Baghdad

    In his first interview with Middle Eastern media after Saddam was captured, Dr Saman Abd al-Majid

    told that Saddam could implicate the US and Britain in his crimes. 

    Al-Majid was referring to international complicity in building up Saddam's war machine which was then used devastatingly against the Iranians and his own people.  

    "I do not believe that he would be tried publicly. He has nothing to lose and he would say everything if he was tried," he said. 

    "He knows a lot of things that could damage international relations - he knows crucial secrets. I don't think that a public trial is in the interest of any of the countries that launched the war on Iraq.

    Saddam humiliation

    "The way the US occupation authorities showed Saddam was meant to humiliate all Arabs and Muslims and send them a clear message - that everyone who defies the US will end up like Saddam"

    Dr Saman Abd al-Majid,
    Saddam's former translator

    "And maybe that is why US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld hinted that Saddam is considered a prisoner of war, because international law stipulates that POWs cannot be tried."

    Al-Majid, who worked for Saddam for more than two decades

    , expressed

    deep sorrow that the former Iraqi president was humiliated in front of the whole world.

    "The way the US occupation authorities showed Saddam was meant to humiliate all Arabs and Muslims and send them a clear message - that everyone who defies the US will end up like Saddam," he said.

    "This concept was very clear in a statement by Richard Perle (the former assistant US defence secretary) yesterday (on the

    Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation) when he said it is indeed a message to all rogue states such as Iran and Syria."

    And al-Majid, who is an Iraqi Kurd, said the Saddam he knew would

    not have surrendered without resistance.

    Show of power

    "Saddam Hussein is a very brave man, and strongly committed to Arab and Muslim values which curse one's surrender to the enemy.

    "It was a Hollywood-style show of power. I can confirm that if he was caught without resistance, then he was not able to resist either because he was gassed or caught as he was sleeping.

    "I do not believe the Americans. They do not have any credibility, I doubt the story they are telling."   

    Al-Majid added if Saddam was really caught in a cottage near a river, as the Americans said, he would not have looked as dirty as he was when he was shown to the world.

    "He is a very neat and elegant man. He would not have let his hair and face look as dirty as looked."

    Iraqi resistance 

    Saddam looked a broken man
    when captured by US forces

    Moreover, al-Majid believes Iraqi resistance to American occupation will become more intense after the capture of Saddam.

    "Many Iraqi national factions were reluctant to participate in the actions against the occupation forces, fearing they would be accused of fighting to get Saddam Hussein back to power," he said. 

    "Now they will find themselves free to participate in armed resistance to drive the occupation out of Iraq".

    Saddam was captured by American forces near his hometown of Tikrit on Saturday after an eight-month manhunt.

    Over the past few days the world has been divided over where he should be tried for alleged crimes during his time in power, and

     what penalty he should face.

    Several prominent Arab and western lawyers have offered to defend Saddam, with many arguing he should not be tried at all because heads of state should have immunity from prosecution.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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