Saddam court 'incapable' of fairness

A human rights group has said the court that is to try Saddam Hussein for genocide has proved itself incapable of fairness.

    Saddam stands accused of genocide

    Human Rights Watch was referring to the court in Iraq that has tried Saddam over the Dujail killings and that next week will try him for genocide against the Kurds.

    "None of the Iraqi judges and lawyers has shown an understanding of international criminal law," it said in a statement on Friday.

    "The court's administration has been chaotic and inadequate, making it unable to conduct a trial of this magnitude fairly.

    "Based on extensive observations of the tribunal's conduct of its first trial ... Human Rights Watch believes that the Iraqi High Tribunal is presently incapable of fairly and effectively trying a genocide case."

    It also questioned the extensive reliance on anonymous witnesses, which it said undercut the defence's right to confront the evidence and cross-examine their testimony.

    Anfal genocide

    The ousted Iraqi president, who is awaiting a verdict in his first trial for crimes against humanity, will be in the dock again on Monday for the so-called Anfal campaign of killings of tens of thousands of Kurds in the north in the late 1980s.
       

    "Based on extensive observations of the tribunal's conduct of its first trial ... Human Rights Watch believes that the Iraqi High Tribunal is presently incapable of fairly and effectively trying a genocide case"

    Human Rights Watch

    The first trial of Saddam and seven co-accused in connection with the killings of 148 Shia in the 1980s was marred by the killing of three defence lawyers and the resignation of the tribunal's first chief judge over what he said was government interference. It was adjourned until October 16.
       
    Saddam and six other defendants, including his cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, nicknamed "Chemical Ali" for ordering gas attacks, are accused of genocide for their role in the Anfal campaign.
       
    Kurds say tens of thousands of people perished and that entire villages were wiped out in the violence.
            
    The Kurds see the Anfal campaign as one of the most potent symbols of their suffering under Saddam, who described Kurdish leaders as traitors.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.