Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Butt Out

What part of a sovereign nation do we not understand?

Specter Urges Discipline in Hussein Trial
"I have been disappointed the way the court has permitted Saddam to dominate the proceedings, and I respect Iraqi sovereignty and I respect judicial independence, but it's also a fair comment to evaluate what is going on," Specter said, before a meeting with the trial judges.

Says who?

"The evidence is there to portray to the world exactly what has happened here," Specter said. "You have a butcher who has butchered his own people, a torturer who has tortured his own people. . . .And that evidence ought to be presented in a systematic way."

Their country, their problem. See Romania for details.

Specter said that U.S. and international law have precedents for holding disruptive defendants in contempt and trying them without their being present in the courtroom. "Those are subjects I intend to take up with the Iraqis," he said.

I'm sure they're waiting with baited breath.

Kevin Dooley, a U.S. Embassy liaison officer working with the special tribunal trying Hussein, said it was likely that charges for other cases would be filed against the former Iraqi leader, but he declined comment on the number or length of the prospective trials.

In an interview last week with the Arabic language, London-based Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper, chief investigating judge Raeed Juhi said authorities were ready to present cases against Hussein in the 1988 chemical bomb attack of the Kurdish town of Halabja that killed 5,000 people and a campaign that killed more than 100,000 Kurds and leveled Kurdish villages.

But Juhi added that "if the deposed president is sentenced to death in the Dujail case and is executed, all other cases against him would be dropped."

Major understatement.

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