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Trial of the Century

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    Saddam Hearing: Full transcript 1 July 2004 http://tinyurl.com/yvyht Judge: Are you Saddam Hussein al-Majid? Saddam: Yes Judge: Were you born on 28 April,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 5 6:31 PM
      Saddam Hearing: Full transcript
      1 July 2004

      Judge: Are you Saddam Hussein al-Majid?

      Saddam: Yes

      Judge: Were you born on 28 April, 1937?

      Saddam: Yes Judge: Are you the former president of Iraq?

      Saddam: I am the current president of Iraq

      Judge: Were you leader of the Ba'ath party and head of the armed

      Saddam: Yes. Can you introduce yourself?

      Judge: I am the judge of the investigative court

      Saddam: Do you represent the American coalition?

      Judge: I represent the Iraqi people ... You have the right to examine
      witnesses and documents

      Saddam: Everyone here knows this is a theatre carried out by Bush the
      criminal to win the election

      Judge: You are charged with seven crimes [Lists them, ending with
      invasion of Kuwait]

      Saddam: How can you charge me with this? You are an Iraqi and
      everyone knows Kuwait is part of Iraq

      Judge: This is not a trial. I am a prosecuting judge investigating

      Saddam: I carried out these acts in my capacity as president of Iraq

      Judge: You have a right to defence attorneys

      Saddam: According to the Americans I have millions of dollars in
      Geneva so I should be able to afford one

      Judge: Do you have anything else to say?

      Saddam: In Kuwait I was defending the Iraqi people from those Kuwaiti
      dogs who wanted to turn their women in to 10-dollar prostitutes

      Judge: Do not use that language in this court. Will you now sign this
      document listing your rights?

      Saddam: No

      Judge: Let it be recorded that he has not signed. You are dismissed
      from the court.

      No mention of power cuts and violence at trial of the century

      Robert Fisk

      01 July 2004 "The Independent" -- Now it is time for bread and
      circuses. Keep the people distracted. Show them Saddam. Remind them
      what it used to be like. Make them grateful. Make Saddam pay. Show
      his face once more across the world so that his victims will think
      about the past, not the present. Charge him. Before the full majesty
      of Iraq's new "democratic" law. And may George Bush win the next
      American election.

      That's pretty much how it looked from Baghdad yesterday. Forget the
      12-hour power cuts and the violence and the kidnappings and the
      insurgency. Let's go back again to the gruesome days of Baathist
      rule, let's revisit once more the theatre of cruelty - back to all
      those war crimes and crimes against humanity with which the Monster
      will be charged. Let's take another look at Tariq Aziz and "Chemical"
      Ali and the rest. Isn't this why we came to Iraq - to rescue the
      Iraqis from the Beast of Baghdad?

      When Saddam was "handed over" yesterday to Iraqi officials by the
      Americans - we don't know how - he apparently wanted to know if he
      would have the right to a lawyer (never a previous concern of his
      where prisoners were concerned). Salem Chalabi, a close relative of
      the convicted fraudster and former Pentagon favourite Ahmed Chalabi,
      is leading the Iraqi tribunal's work. So no surprise Saddam asked for

      Saddam was freighted up from his close security prison cell in Qatar
      for his meeting with "Iraqi justice" - exactly what that means was
      not clear although most Western journalists used the phrase - and
      will today face an Iraqi judge who will formally accuse the ex-
      dictator of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The trouble is,
      we haven't got the charges against Saddam quite put together yet. It
      will take at least a year to decide the exact details of what he's
      going to be accused of.

      The gassing of Halabja? Of course. The mass killings of Shia after
      the 1991 rising? No doubt. The torture of innocent Iraqis at Saddam's
      Abu Ghraib prison? Although that might not be a place name that the
      tribunal - or the Americans - want to hear right now. And will the
      death penalty be used? Quite possibly - at least, that's what an
      awful lot of Iraqis would like. It was, after all, Saddam's favourite
      punishment. Could "Chemical" Ali of Halabja notoriety escape such a

      Then there's the little problem of the Iraqi tribunal whose "judges"
      all turn out to be lawyers without, apparently, any judicial skills.
      Many are Iraqis who spent years in exile - the kind with whom a
      growing number of Iraqis who stayed and endured Saddam's rule are
      increasingly disenchanted. A judge, so we are told, will formally
      read a written text against Saddam. We don't know where. We don't
      even know when - today presumably. The old "occupying" power - in
      other words the new "occupying" power if you find the country's new
      independence a bit hard to swallow - has let it be known that there
      may be "media access" when Saddam appears.

      So one of those familiar "pools" will no doubt be created - I will
      put my bets on CNN and the loony right Fox News as certainties - and
      we'll all be able to study Saddam at the critical moment when he
      begins to "face up to his crimes", or whatever cliché we produce for
      the occasion. For justice, read photo-opportunity.

      Journalists will do their best to turn all this into a success story.
      Even yesterday, the BBC was telling viewers that Saddam's appearance
      in court was "exactly what Iraqis have been waiting for". Alas,
      Iraqis have been waiting for electricity and safety and freedom from
      crime and elections far more than the trial of the miserable old
      murderer who will be paraded before us.

      As an Iraqi woman financial consultant - no friend of the Baath
      party - put it to me yesterday: "This is a childish play, written by
      children for children. We have real needs and they want us to go and
      watch a play."

      For if the handing over of "full sovereignty" to an American-chosen
      Iraqi government had about it an Alice in Wonderland quality, today's
      interlude with Saddam will mark the appearance of the Cheshire Cat.
      Maybe he will smile. Maybe he will shout his defiance of the judge -
      and have to be restrained.

      Heaven forbid he will accuse the new "interim" government of being
      puppets of the United States. Or, worse, remind the court of his own
      long relationship with US governments. But most assuredly, like the
      Cheshire Cat, he will fade away again, put back in his box for
      another 12 months until the "Trial of the Century".

      Copyright: The Independent


      Defiant Saddam appears in Iraqi court:


      Friday 02 July 2004, 6:28 Makka Time, 3:28 GMT

      Charges are expected to include crimes against humanity

      Saddam Hussein has questioned the legitimacy of the tribunal set up
      to try him during his first appearance in the dock.

      The former Iraqi president on Thursday signalled his refusal to
      cooperate after seven charges against him were read out in the
      military tribunal before which he and his 11 co-accused are to be

      According to Aljazeera correspondent Abd al-Adhim Muhammad, the
      former president asked: "How do you bring me to this place without
      any defence attorney?"

      When asked by the judge to identify himself, Saddam answered, "I am
      Saddam Hussein al-Majid, the president of the republic of Iraq."
      Saddam refused to say "Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq."

      When asked to identify his place of residence he replied: "I live in
      each Iraqi's house."

      Kuwait invasion

      Saddam also defended his 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Dressed in grey and
      appearing healthier and better turned-out than when he was captured,
      he declared, "Kuwait is an Iraqi territory. It was not an invasion."

      "I am Saddam Hussein al-Majid, the president of the republic of Iraq"

      Saddam Hussein,
      Former Iraqi presiden

      Also, according to reporters who attended the 30-minute hearing which
      authorities allowed to be filmed without sound, Saddam called the
      Kuwaitis "dogs" and referred to the tribunal as "a play aimed at
      Bush's chances of winning the US presidential elections." He also
      said the "the criminal is Bush".

      Responding to Saddam's comments, Kuwait's information minister said
      the former leader is a "war criminal who committed genocide against
      the Iraqi and Kuwaiti people."

      "We demand that he face the maximum punishment, which is death for
      his crimes," Muhammad Abu al-Hasan told reporters.

      Exchange with the judge

      According to our correspondent, Saddam asked the judge to identify
      himself and asked him from where he obtained his degree in law. He
      also asked him if he was an authentic judge and what laws are he

      Kuwait minister of information
      says Saddam is "a war criminal"

      The judge said "I have worked since the former regime and I have been
      nominated by coalition authorities."

      Saddam then mocked the judge and said "this means you are applying
      the invaders' laws to try me".

      Saddam also debated the judge saying, "You are a lawman and I am a
      lawman too and we have to talk according to the law".


      Earlier, an armoured bus flanked by four Humvees and an ambulance
      transported the former president to a secret location to face the

      Upon arrival, he was led into a building by two Iraqi prison guards,
      while six more guards stood to attention at the door. Saddam's first
      appearance in a special Iraqi court was shrouded in secrecy, with
      only a small pool of journalists and officials allowed access.

      "Saddam entered the courtroom at 2:25pm (11:25 GMT). It was a small
      courtroom and there were a limited number of journalists and some
      officials like Muwafaq al-Rubaee. He was weak and pale and could be
      hardly heard," said Abd al-Adhim Muhammad. In addition to Saddam, 11
      former officials were due to appear before Iraq's special tribunal on


      Charges against the deposed Iraqi leader and 11 of his senior
      officials are expected to include war crimes and genocide, as well as
      crimes against humanity, but it is not yet clear what offences each
      individual will be charged with.

      "We demand that he face the maximum punishment, which is death for
      his crimes"

      Muhammad Abu al-Hasan,
      Kuwaiti information minister

      According to Aljazeera's correspondent, the judge raised seven
      accusations against Saddam including:

      Intentionally killing civilians using chemical weapons in Halabja,
      north of Iraq.
      Intentionally killing civilians without trial
      Intentionally killing Barazanis in 1983
      Intentionally killing men of religion
      Intentionally killing civilians in al-Anfal operations against Kurds
      in northern Iraq
      Intentionally killing civilians in the south of Iraq in 1991
      Invasion of Kuwait
      The proceedings were televised but not broadcast live.

      They were taking place near Baghdad international airport, where the
      US military is thought to have held the 12 men in solitary
      confinement at a detention centre.

      No formal indictment

      Saddam had no lawyers to represent him at the arraignment. Formal
      indictments may not be ready for months.

      Similar proceedings were to be held later for his former aides,
      including former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz and Hasan Ali al-
      Majid, dubbed Chemical Ali by the US for his alleged role in using
      poison gas against Kurds and Iranians.

      The US military, which had held Saddam and his lieutenants as
      prisoners of war, handed them over to Iraqi legal custody on
      Wednesday, but will continue to hold physical custody.

      Saddam, accused of ordering the killing and torture of thousands of
      people during 35 years of Baathist rule, was captured by US forces in
      December near his hometown of Tikrit after eight months on the run
      following his 9 April overthrow.

      The public last glimpsed him, dishevelled and with a bushy beard, in
      television footage shot soon after his capture.



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