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Saddam's trial begins next month

*Planning to escape jail with help of al-Zarqawi?


- Aljazeera

(Friday, July 15, 2005)

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Juhi said the trial would begin "in August or September, but we would like it to begin before that."


According to the Iraqi judge in charge of questioning Saddam Hussein and members of the former regime, the toppled Iraqi leader could go on trial as early as next month. Raid Juhi, chief judge of the Iraq Special Tribunal said that 80% of the investigation into the July 8, 1982 massacre in Dujail is complete, adding that the ousted Iraqi leader could face the death penalty.

"The investigation is quite advanced with more than 80 percent completed (but) deciding the date of the trials is not the speciality of the investigative judges," Mr. Juhi told reporters on Wednesday. According to sources close to the tribunal, the decision will be made by a five-person trial court panel.

Four members of the toppled regime would stand trial in the Dujail massacre, in which Saddam's security agents allegedly killed about 50 people after foiling a plot to assassinate him. Juhi said the trial would begin "in August or September, but we would like it to begin before that," Juhi said.

The United States has been trying to delay the trial, claiming there was no need to rush and that Iraq needs to develop a good court and judicial system first. Saddam, 68, has been in U.S. custody at a secret military detention complex near Baghdad airport since December 2003. Justice Minister Abdul Hussein Shandal said he was confident Iraqi investigators would wrap up the case against Saddam by the end of 2005.

Shandal accuses Washington of trying to hinder the Iraqi investigation of Saddam's regime, saying "it seems there are lots of secrets they want to hide." Among other charges raised against Saddam Hussein, is having role in the 1987-88 campaign to drive Iraqi Kurds from wide areas of the north and crushing the Shiite revolt.

Saddam's lawyers have long questioned the court's impartiality and his detention this long without trial. But Juhi said that "this is all talk, only results matter," "The tribunal has been formed and is operating now in a completely legitimate and independent manner."

The judge refused to give any further details of his encounters with the former Iraqi President. "He is a defendant and there is no difference between him and the others," said the judge.

Saddam manhandled after capture
[ Photo Above: Saddam manhandled after capture ]
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Jail Break For Saddam?

Saddam planning escape with help of al-Zarqawi? - Kiran Chaube, July 14, 2005

Coalition forces led by American Military is guarding Saddam Hussein in an undisclosed location. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the local Al-Queda leader in Iraq is busy trying to prove that he can pull through unbelievable stunt actions. What can be more spectacular than getting Saddam free from the coalition detention center and hide him in Iraq. Some think tanks and experts in international politics are saying that may be what they will try. If they pull it through then Abu Musab al-Zarqawi will become a real Al-Queda leader in front of the Islamic world.

It will not be easy and most likely it will be probably impossible. The opportunities Abu Musab al-Zarqawi will try to avail will be when Saddam is taken in and out from the court. They may try to attack the court with massive bombs, suicide bombers and in the doldrums try to escape with Saddam.

In the mean time though, things for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi dies not look good. U.S. forces captured a key aide to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Abu Abd al-Aziz, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers said July 13. The U.S. military also reported that a July 10 raid on a terrorist safe-house west of Abu Ghraib prison resulted in the arrest of two men described as "targeted terrorists."

And that makes Abu Musab al-Zarqawi more desperate to pull through a stunt escape for Saddam.

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