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399iraqi judge accuses allawi like saddam

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  • Greg Cannon
    Nov 8, 2004
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      http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1108-33.htm
      Published on Monday, November 8, 2004 by Direland.com
      The Iraqi Judge Who Knew too Much -- and was Fired for
      It
      by Doug Ireland


      There is an article in today's Le Monde that tells us
      so much about the real nature of the illusory Iraqi
      "democracy" that Bush keeps prating about, I decided
      to translate some of its principal findings, not a
      word of which has yet appeared in the U.S. press.

      Judge Zouheir Al-Maliky, 42, had the confidence of the
      American provisional government, so great that it made
      him the first investigating magistrate in post-Saddam
      Iraq. In April 2004, he was asked to investigate
      suspected cases of brutality by the criminal brigade
      of the Iraqi police. That invrestigation proved his
      downfall.

      According to a decree signed by the Americans in
      April, the role of the provisional government's
      intelligence services was supposed to be limited to
      harvesting information. But, says the judge, there are
      at least 110 people under detention by the police and
      the intelligence services, detentions which are
      utterly illegal. Worse, thse prisoners have been
      subjected to extraordinarily , even torture.

      "I visited the headquarters of the crminal brigade,"
      which are under the control of the Interior Ministry,
      the judge says. "I questioned more than 15 prisoners.
      The conditions of their detention are deplorables, and
      the police are acting like Nazis. They use all sorts
      of barbaric methods, like electric shock, to make
      their prisoners talk --one man remains partially
      paralyzed by this torture. Having been myself detained
      on numerous occasions by the Hussein regime, I
      consider these illegal detentions to be a personal
      challenge. I know the suffering they represent. I
      issued an order for the Minister of the Intrior and
      the chief of intelligence to appear before me. I
      indicted 20 agents of the security services, of whom 5
      were guilty of torture. After an intense struggle, I
      was able to secure the liberation of 52 of the
      illegally detained."

      The problem, says the judge, is that "with the
      intensification of guerilla warfare, the Americans
      lost interest in these goings-on. " And the Allawi
      government refuses to obey the injuctions of the
      court. "When I protested that the permission of a
      judge is necessary for these people to be imprisoned,
      the government set up a new judge and a special
      tribunal that will follow its orders. To do this, the
      Allawi government uses a law concocted by Saddam
      Hussein in 1971, which is no longer in force today,
      and which permits them to arrest and detain who they
      want, when they want."

      According to Judge Al-Maliky, the more than 110 people
      currently imprisoned illegally are all accused of
      being Iranian spies. "I do not say that there are no
      Iranian agents in Iraq, and I'm well-laced to know
      that foreign fighters operate on our territory.
      Several of my investigations have proved that. But, in
      these particular cases, I can certify that those
      detained are ordinary Iraqis, men linked to religious
      Shiite parties of the Supreme Council of the Isalamic
      Revolution, or are Iraqi Hezbollah, or are Iraqis
      expelled during the Iraq/Iran war and who returned
      after the fall of Saddam."

      On October 18, the Minister of the Interior Falah
      Al-Nakib admitted, before the provisional parliament,
      a few cases of "arbitrary detention" which the
      government promised to "work to end." The next day,
      Judge Al-Maliky was fired, without explanation, by the
      Judicial Council.

      Judge Al-Maliky has not only lost his envied position
      as the senior investigating magistrate of Iraq, he has
      lost his confidence in the current government, and in
      the hope of a better future for his country. "I can't
      tell you at which point I feel deceived," he says.
      "Under the old Saddam regime, I said: okay, it's a
      dictatorship which acts like a dictatorship. But
      today, we hear talk about a free and democratic Iraq,
      in which no one is supposed to be above the law. But
      this government tortures, just like before under
      Saddam."

      "I've also investigated huge corruption
      scandals--involving ons of dollars, linked to
      reconstruction contracts--in which are implicated very
      important officials of the muncipality of Baghdad, as
      well as the Ministers of the Interior, of Information,
      and of Transport. One of these investigations was
      responsible for my firing...."

      "Saddam Hussein planted bad seeds in our country. Now
      the Iraqis think they can act like he did. When I tell
      them that what they're doing is illegal, they are
      sincerely surprised. They have been content to simply
      take up once again the style, the methods, and a
      mentality in which they were raised for more than 30
      years. This is quite frigtening for the future. I
      wanted to stop history from repeating itself. I
      failed. The same abuses are being repeated--it's just
      like what happened when the Ba'th arrived in power in
      1968. Some people take power, others try to oppose
      their abuses. The latter are shunted aside. The
      situation will continue to get worse until, finally, a
      new Saddam emerges...."

      This Le Monde account of the firing of Judge
      Al-Maliky--who is now reduced to being an ordinary
      lawyer in an obscufre Baghdad office-- underscores how
      little value can be placed in the elections scneduled
      to be held in two months in Iraq, now that the Allawi
      government has placed the entire country under martial
      law. And the judge's ccount makes a mockery of Bush's
      claims that the puppet government, stamped "approved
      by Washington"--is building genunine democracy in
      Iraq. That government's complicity in the coming
      bloddy full-scale assault on Fallujah will seal its
      image with the Iraqi people--making it clear that the
      only way its principal figures can win an election is
      by stealing it--which, as the judge's account makes
      clear, they are providing themselves with the legal
      weapons to do.