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Old 10-19-2005, 09:42 AM   #1
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Saddam pleads 'not guilty'

Unsurprisingly.

Perhaps this should be in the 'war' section - I apologise, mods, if that is the case.

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Reuters Wednesday October 19, 01:39 PM

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BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The trial of Saddam Hussein on war crimes charges was adjourned for more than a month shortly after it began on Wednesday, prosecutors told reporters.

"It has been adjourned until November 28," one of the prosecutors said.

An adjournment had been widely expected. Saddam's lawyer had said he would ask for the trial to be adjourned, arguing he had insufficient time to prepare.
Saddam has been charged with crimes against humanity in connection with the deaths of more than 140 Shi'ite Muslim men after a group of young Shi'ites tried to assassinate him near Dujail, a town about 60 km (35 miles) north of Baghdad, in 1982.

At the start of the trial on Wednesday, Saddam and his seven co-defendants all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Grey-bearded and wearing a dark jacket over an open-necked white shirt, Saddam hectored the chief judge from his seat inside a white metal pen on the marble courtroom floor.

Asked his name by the judge, Saddam, 68, shot back: "You know me. You are an Iraqi and you know who I am.

"I won't answer to this so-called court...Who are you? What are you? The occupation is illegitimate," Saddam said. "I retain my constitutional rights as the president of Iraq."

The judge said: "You are Saddam Hussein al-Majid ... former president of Iraq", at which point Saddam raised his finger to interrupt, saying testily: "I did not say former president".

Shortly afterwards, the judge informed the defendants that the charges included murder, torture and forced expulsion, saying that the crimes could carry the death penalty, and informed them of their rights, including that of a fair trial.

Asked to plead, each in turn, Saddam first, said: "Not guilty".

Saddam was the last to enter the courtroom as proceedings began shortly after midday and asked the jailers escorting him to slow down as he walked to his spot facing the panel of five judges. He carried an old copy of the Koran.

Chief judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin, a Kurd, presided from a raised dais looking down on the defendants. Bronze-coloured scales of justice hung behind the judges. Of the judges, only Amin's face was shown on TV, and he conducted all questioning.

"This is the first session of case number one, the case of Dujail," Amin told the court at the start, referring to the town where bloody reprisals against more than 140 Shi'ite Muslim men followed an attempt on Saddam's life on July 8, 1982.

ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT

Nearly two years after he was found hiding in a hole in the ground near where he was born, Saddam and seven other members of his now-defunct Baath Party are now on trial for those events.

Prosecutors will try to show that Saddam, in retaliation for the botched assassination attempt, ordered his henchmen to hunt down, torture and kill scores of men from Dujail, on that July day and in the days, weeks and years that followed.

Iraq's government, led by long-time enemies of Saddam and looking for popularity ahead of elections in December, hopes the trial will boost the morale of Iraqis struggling against the hardships of the insurgency 2-1/2 years after the war began.

Human rights groups have expressed unease about perceptions of "victor's justice", warning that the trial must not only be fair, but be seen to be fair, and raising concerns about the legitimacy of a body set up during U.S. occupation.

In London, legal expert and barrister Jonathan Goldberg, speaking to CNN, cast doubt on the proceedings. "It's probably not a fair trial by American or European standards," he said. "The whole thing is a bit of a public relations circus."

The eyes of the world were on the trial, being televised with around a 30-minute delay, not just to capture the moment that Saddam stood in the dock, but to see whether Iraq under its new leadership can fairly try its deposed dictator.

DEATH PENALTY

If found guilty, Saddam could be hanged. Under tribunal statutes, any sentence should carried out within 30 days of appeals being exhausted. That means Saddam could be executed before being tried on other charges such as genocide against the Kurds.

In a statement posted on the Internet on Tuesday, people calling themselves members of the Baath Party urged Saddam's followers to rise up and defy the court with gunfire.

In Baghdad and areas to the west, mortar rounds landed near U.S. military bases, and in Tikrit, Saddam's hometown, dozens of young men rallied and chanted in support of the ex-president.

"The trial is unfair," said Tikrit student Dawud Farham, aged 18. "They should put on trial those who are tearing apart Iraq and its people."

Khalil al-Dulaimi, Saddam's chief lawyer, has said he will challenge the court's legitimacy and ask for more time to study the 800 pages of evidence collected by investigators over the past two years. The defence received them just 45 days ago.

He may also argue that Saddam has presidential immunity.

The charges stem from the 1982 attack when gunmen linked to the Shi'ite Dawa Party tried to kill Saddam as his armoured convoy drove through Dujail, 60 km (35 miles) north of Baghdad.

Apart from the men said to have been killed in reprisal, women and children are alleged to have been removed from Dujail, taken to Abu Ghraib prison and later interned in a desert camp near the Saudi border where many ultimately "disappeared".

(Additional reporting by Aseel Kami, Alastair Macdonald, Andrew Quinn, Claudia Parsons and Mariam Karouny in Baghdad, Jafer Majid Hatem in Dujail and Ghazwan al-Juburi in Tikrit)
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Old 10-19-2005, 09:52 AM   #2
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I would never be in Saddam´s lawyers clothes, what kind of defense can they organize...........................
He hasn´t repented, this appears to be clear.....................
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Old 10-19-2005, 12:20 PM   #3
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He still thinks he's the legitimate president of Iraq? Jeesh.
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Old 10-19-2005, 12:54 PM   #4
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I wouldn't defend this man.
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Old 10-19-2005, 02:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by babyman
I would never be in Saddam´s lawyers clothes, what kind of defense can they organize...........................
He hasn´t repented, this appears to be clear.....................
Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
I wouldn't defend this man.
Well hell, even child rapers and chainsaw murderers have the right to an attorney.

It's been said that he might actually get off on a few of the charges against him. There's not a whole lot of concrete evidence that he was directly responsible for a lot of the things he's charged with. Of course, he's not going to get off scot-free on all of them. The Halabja charge comes to mind -- after all, the judge is a Kurd (which somehow seems like a conflict of interest to me, but what the hell do I know about Iraqi law? ). However, his closest advisers, the ones he'd order to have this kind of thing done, seem to either be dead or not willing to testify against Saddam. But, as a matter of course, he's going to get convicted of a sentence that will get him the death penalty for sure. Bush & Co. will see to that. I hear Iraqi judges are pretty easy to bribe.
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Old 10-19-2005, 04:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
I wouldn't defend this man.
I would, only to find out what the history of the friendship between Iraq and the western world 20 years ago was.


I hope they don`t kill him before he have the chance to talk about that.
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Old 10-19-2005, 07:45 PM   #7
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Old 10-19-2005, 07:58 PM   #8
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Old 10-20-2005, 11:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
It says "I am still President..I am still President"
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Old 10-20-2005, 05:44 PM   #10
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innocent? I almost laughed out loud
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Old 10-20-2005, 08:38 PM   #11
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I hope televising this was the right idea....there's a fine line between showing people how justice is done, and making a mockery and allowing him to run his mouth on television. I know most Iraqis hate him, but...
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Old 10-21-2005, 05:33 AM   #12
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Is there still conscience?........................................................
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Old 10-21-2005, 05:34 AM   #13
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Saddam, surrender to evidence.....................................
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Old 10-21-2005, 09:03 AM   #14
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Defense lawyer in Saddam case abducted and killed

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BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A defense lawyer for one of
Saddam Hussein's co-defendants was shot dead after being abducted by gunmen, police said on Friday, throwing a brutal new twist into a case that is deepening
Iraq's sectarian schisms.

Witnesses said Saadoun Janabi was abducted from his Baghdad office late on Thursday. His body was found about an hour later with gunshot wounds to the head and chest, police said.
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Old 10-21-2005, 09:13 AM   #15
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Henry VI Act IV, Scene II
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