Saddam trial set for October

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Ben W, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Sep 16, 2002
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    Saddam trial set for October
    Sep 3, 2005

    Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and several aides will go on trial on October 19, an Iraqi government source say.

    The process, for the killing of dozens of Shi'ite villagers at Dujail in 1982, will therefore be starting just a few days after a referendum on a new constitution that the US-backed authorities intend to bury the legacy of his dictatorship.

    The source, who is not attached to the Special Tribunal trying the deposed president and his aides for crimes against humanity, forecast a quick trial and execution.
    "After what he did, how can we not execute him?" he said.

    On Thursday, Iraq hanged its first three criminals since Saddam was overthrown in 2003 and officials in the Shi'ite-led government have made clear they want a death sentence for the man they blame for the deaths of many thousands.

    The trial may stir passions among some minority Sunni Arabs, who dominated Iraq under Saddam and before. In some demonstrations this past week against the new constitution, his face has reappeared in public, on placards and posters.

    Saddam followers also play a role in the violence against US troops and forces loyal to the Shi'ite-led government.

    For that reason, the timing of the trial has been sensitive; judicial officials indicated last month that the Dujail hearings would be ready to begin by the beginning of October, so the choice of Oct. 19 appears politically driven to avoid it clashing with the referendum campaign.

    The referendum is due to take place by October 15 and the Electoral Commission, which will set the exact date shortly, has said it is likely to be on or very close to the 15th.

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