Watching Saddams’ Trial

World Cup: For Subscribers Only!!!

“Thank God watching Saddam’s trial is still free!!”

Emad Hajjaj may be right about that. Saddam’s trial has become quite the dog and pony show. There is no doubt in my mind that Saddam from the first day in court was there to be executed and all of this is just a fancy charade of “due process”. He is being tried for the killing of Shia’a in 1982 after an assassination attempt on Saddam in the town of Dujail. Now I’ve never been a Saddam fan but if atrocities are based on body counts then he has always been the lesser of two evils.

And sure the past few months have been less than dramatic when it comes to this trial. Saddam in the same clothes, standing up every now and then to point out the obvious: that this whole trial is just one big theatrical play.

But lately things have gotten interesting. And Saddam’s frown has been turned upside down. Now we see pictures of him laughing. Why? Probably because he’s being proven right. Forget the fact that his defence team hasn’t been the most stable one for obvious reasons, but even with that disadvantage they’ve been able to pull a few rabbits from the hat lately.

One witness testifies that at least 2 dozen of the 148 Shiites Saddam has been accused of killing are alive and kicking, some of whom he had lunch with a few days ago. This comes after another defence witness was killed. Others (and their families) are being threatened. I wonder why?

Meanwhile, the prosecution’s witness Ali al-Haidari who claimed he was arrested at age 14 in the Dujail sweep and was tortured with electrical shocks and beatings and that the “assassination attempt” was only celebratory shooting to mark the former Iraqi leader’s visit, had a bit of a contradiction to face up to when the defence showed a DVD of him in 2004 addressing a ceremony in Dujail and praising the attack on Saddam as an attempt by “sons of Dujail … to kill the greatest tyrant in modern history.” The defence asked that he be investigated for perjury but the judge didn’t follow up on that request.

Here’s another interesting thing that happened on Wednesday:

Tension in the court grew when one defence witness, testifying from behind a curtain, claimed that chief prosecutor Jaafar al-Moussawi tried to bribe him to testify against Saddam over a crackdown launched against Shiites in the town of Dujail in the 1980s.

The witness said he and his father were arrested in Dujail but released. He said that in 2004 he met al-Moussawi and recounted his story. Al-Moussawi “told me, ‘This testimony will not serve the Iraqi people. We want to sentence Saddam to death.’ ”

“He gave me $500,” the witness said. “He told me to say that my father was arrested and killed in detention.” [source]

Some of these witnesses also claimed that chief prosecutor Mussawi was at an event in the village of Dujail in 2004 to commemorate the events of 1982

About four of these witnesses from Wednesday were detained soon after “for questioning.”

But here’s the kicker…

The US official close to the court emphasized that the men were not under arrest, but were being detained for an investigation.

“Even in the States, people can be detained and arrested if they make false allegations,” he said. [source]

LOL Are people arrested for making false allegations after it’s been proven they have done so or before? Just because the prosecution feels that they have? But then again, I suppose even the Patriot Act has changed the shape of American justice. Hopefully Iraq has a future to look forward where it can detain people without trial and without access to their lawyers. It wouldnâ??t be a stretch from Saddamâ??s era.

Either way, one thing’s for sure, Saddam’s trial is going to be the smash TV hit of the summer.

1 Comment

Your Two Piasters: