|Trial of Saddam Hussein|
Saddam Hussein sits before an Iraqi judge at a courthouse in Baghdad, 1 July 2004.
|Court||Iraqi Special Tribunal (IST)|
|Decided||19 October 2005 – 5 November 2006|
|Verdict||Saddam Hussein found guilty of crimes against humanity and was subsequently sentenced to death; he was executed on 30 December 2006.|
The trial of Saddam Hussein was the trial of the deposed President of Iraq Saddam Hussein by the Iraqi Interim Government for crimes against humanity during his time in office.
The Coalition Provisional Authority voted to create the Iraqi Special Tribunal (IST), consisting of five Iraqi judges, on 9 December 2003, to try Saddam Hussein and his aides for charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
Saddam was captured by U.S. forces on 13 December 2003.He remained in custody by United States forces at Camp Cropper in Baghdad, along with eleven senior Ba'athist officials. Particular attention was paid during the trial to activities in violent campaigns against the Kurds in the north during the Iran–Iraq War, against the Shiites in the south in 1991 and 1999 to put down revolts, and in Dujail after a failed assassination attempt on 8 July 1982, during the Iran–Iraq War. Saddam asserted in his defense that he had been unlawfully overthrown, and was still the president of Iraq.
The first trial began before the Iraqi Special Tribunal on 19 October 2005. At this trial Saddam and seven other defendants were tried for crimes against humanity with regard to events that took place after a failed assassination attempt in Dujail in 1982 by members of the Islamic Dawa Party (see also human rights abuses in Iraq under Saddam Hussein). A second and separate trial began on 21 August 2006,trying Saddam and six co-defendants for genocide during the Anfal military campaign against the Kurds of northern Iraq.
On 5 November 2006, Saddam was sentenced to death by hanging. On 26 December, Saddam's appeal was rejected and the death sentence upheld. No further appeals were taken and Saddam was ordered executed within 30 days of that date. The date and place of the execution were secret until the sentence was carried out.Saddam Hussein was executed by hanging on 30 December 2006. With his death, all other charges were dropped.
Critics viewed the trial as a show trial that did not meet international standards on the right to a fair trial. Amnesty International stated that the trial was "unfair,"and Human Rights Watch judged that Saddam's execution "follows a flawed trial and marks a significant step away from the rule of law in Iraq." Several months before the trial took place, Salem Chalabi, the former head of the Iraq Special Tribunal (which was established to try Hussein), accused interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi of pushing for a hasty show trial and execution, stating: "Show trials followed by speedy executions may help the interim government politically in the short term but will be counterproductive for the development of democracy and the rule of law in Iraq in the long term."
The 67-year-old President, Saddam Hussein, appeared confident and defiant throughout the 46-minute hearing. Alternating between listening to and gesturing at the judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin, he questioned the legitimacy of the tribunal set up to try him. He called the court a "play" aimed at Bush's chances of winning the US presidential elections.He emphatically rejected charges against him. "This is all theater. The real criminal is Bush", he stated. When asked by the judge to identify himself in his first appearance before an Iraqi judge (three of the five judges and the prosecutor were never identified nor photographed for security reasons), he answered, "You are an Iraqi, you know who I am."
Also during the arraignment, Saddam defended Iraq's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait and referred to Kuwaitis as "dogs" who were trying to turn the women of Iraq into "two-penny whores", which led to an admonition from the judge for using coarse language in court. Later on 1 July, Kuwait's information minister Abul-Hassan said crude language was "expected" of Saddam. "This is how he was raised", said the minister.
Although no attorneys for Saddam were present at the 1st of July hearing, his first wife, Sajida Talfah, hired a multinational legal team of attorneys, headed by Jordanian Mohammad Rashdan and including Ayesha Gaddafi (Libya), Curtis Doebbler (United States), Emmanuel Ludot (France) and Marc Henzelin (Switzerland). Towards the end of the first hearing, the deposed president refused to sign the legal document confirming his understanding of the charges.[ citation needed ]
In a leaked transcript of a February 2003 meeting between Bush and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Aznar, Bush expressed a willingness to have Saddam tried at the International Tribunal of Justice in The Hague.
In December 2004, Clive Stafford Smith prepared a 50-page brief for the defense team arguing that Saddam Hussein should be tried in the US under US criminal law.
The London-based Arab-language daily newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported in early May 2005 that during a meeting with Donald Rumsfeld, "known only to a few Iraqi officials in Jordan", Saddam refused an offer of release if he made a televised request to armed groups for a ceasefire with allied forces.The British Daily Telegraph newspaper, quoting an unnamed senior UK government source, had reported two weeks before that Iraqi insurgents were being offered a "deal" whereby the President of Iraq would receive a more lenient sentence if they gave up their attacks.
On 17 June 2005, former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, former minister of Foreign Affairs of France Roland Dumas and former President of Algeria Ahmed Ben Bella announced the formation, under their joint chairmanship, of an international Emergency Committee for Iraq, with a main objective of ensuring fair trials for Saddam and the other former Ba'ath Party officials being tried with him.
On 18 July 2005, Saddam was charged by the Special Tribunal with the first of an expected series of charges, relating to the mass killings of the inhabitants of the village of Dujail in 1982 after a failed assassination attempt against him.
On 8 August 2005, Saddam's family announced that they had dissolved the Jordan-based legal team and that they had appointed Khalil al-Duleimi, the only Iraq-based member, as the sole legal counsel.In an interview broadcast on Iraqi television on 6 September 2005, Iraqi president Jalal Talabani said that he had directly extracted confessions from your predecessor, Saddam that he had ordered mass killings and other "crimes" during his regime and that he deserved to die. Two days later, Saddam's lawyer denied that he confessed.
Saddam's defense repeatedly argued for a delay in the proceedings, insisting that it had not been given evidence secured by the prosecution, had not been given sufficient time to review any prosecution documents, but these submissions received no response from the court. International human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and UN bodies such as the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the High Commissioner for Human Rights stated that the Iraqi Special Tribunal and its legal process did not meet international standards for a fair trial. The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan declined to support the proceeding, expressing similar concerns over fairness as well as over the possibility of a death sentence in the case.
Iraqi authorities put Saddam and seven other former Iraqi officials on trial on 19 October 2005, four days after the 15 October 2005 referendum on the new Iraqi constitution. The tribunal specifically charged the defendants with the killing of 148 Shiites from Dujail, in retaliation for the failed assassination attempt of 8 July 1982. Supporters of Saddam protested against the trial in Tikrit.After the charges were read to them, all eight defendants pleaded not guilty. While initially open to the public, the trial was closed to them on 15 March 2006, after Saddam began making political statements on the stand and an argument began between him and the presiding judge.
Saddam's co-defendants were:
As in his pre-trial appearance, at the opening of the 19 October Trial Saddam appeared defiant. He rejected the tribunal's legitimacy and independence from the control of the foreign occupation. "I do not respond to this so-called court, with all due respect to its people, and I retain my constitutional right as the president of Iraq", Saddam declared. He added, "Neither do I recognize the body that has designated and authorized you, nor the aggression because all that has been built on false basis is false."When the judge asked for his name, Saddam refused, stating "I am the president of the Iraq". He returned the question, asking Kurdish judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin, "Who are you? I want to know who you are." When Amin addressed Saddam as "the former president", Saddam objected emphatically, saying he was still the President of the Republic of Iraq and had not been deposed.
The first session of Saddam's trial lasted three hours. The court adjourned the case until 28 November 2005, as some of the witnesses were too frightened to attend, and to allow the defense more time to study evidence.During an interview with the Arab news agency al-Arabiya following the opening of the trial, Saddam's eldest daughter Raghad branded the court a "farce" and claimed that her father behaved like a "lion" during the proceedings. "He would be a lion even when caged. Every honest person who knows Saddam knows that he is firm and powerful."
The trial was adjourned on 28 November 2005 by Chief Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin to allow time to find replacement lawyers for several of the defendants; Attorney Saadoun Sughaiyer al-Janabi, charged with the defense of Awad Hamed al-Bandar, was abducted from his office by gunmen on 20 October 2005, and found shot dead near his office a few hours later. On 8 November 2005, attorney Adel al-Zubeidi, who had been representing Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan and Abdullah Kazim Ruwayyid, was killed by three gunmen in Baghdad. Barazan Ibrahim's lawyer Thamer Hamoud al-Khuzaie was also wounded in the attack.
There were several incidents during the trial where Saddam showed defiance against the court's authority. At one point, Saddam's legal defense team stormed out of the court after questioning the tribunal's legitimacy, and asking about return of defence papers seized by US Army troops and security issues regarding the protection of the defense. Saddam, along with his co-defendants, railed against Chief Judge Amin and the tribunal. The next day, after listening to hours of testimony against him, he lashed out at the judge. He said that he was exhausted, he did not intend on returning to the trial, and to "go to hell". Later, on 7 December 2005, Saddam refused to enter court, complaining of the conditions in which he was being held and the conduct of the trial. Saddam's complaints included, among other things, that he had not been able to change his clothes for four days.On 12 December 2005, instead of cross-examining witnesses, Saddam accused his American captors of torturing him, saying, "I have been beaten on every place of my body, and the signs are all over my body."
On 29 January 2006, the trial was thrown in disarray after a courtroom session in which Saddam's half-brother Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti was dragged away by guards, the defense team walked out, and Saddam was ejected following a slanging match with chief judge Rauf Rashid Abd al-Rahman, who had replaced former chief judge Rizgar Amin, who resigned after complaining of government interference.
Chief Prosecutor Jaafar al-Moussawi called for the death penalty for Saddam and four other defendants including Barzan al-Tikriti, Saddam's half-brother, Taha Yassin Ramadan, former Iraqi Vice President and Awad Hamed al-Bander, former chief judge of Saddam's Revolutionary Court. The suspects faced execution by hanging if convicted and sentenced to death.
Following the assassination of his chief defense lawyer, Khamis al-Obeidi, Saddam began a hunger strike, protesting against the lack of international protection for lawyers, On 23 June 2006, it was reported that Saddam ended his hunger strike, having missed one meal.On 27 June 2006, two of Saddam Hussein's lawyers, Ramsey Clark, a former US Attorney-General, and Curtis Doebbler, held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to call for immediate security for all the Iraqi defense lawyers and to complain in a written statement that the trial was unfair, and was being conducted by the American authorities using Iraqis as a front. The two lawyers claimed that the United States had refused to provide adequate protection for the defense lawyers despite repeated requests that were made and that the United States was intentionally ensuring an unfair trial.
On 5 November 2006, Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging for the killing of 148 Shiites from Dujail, in retaliation for the assassination attempt of 8 July 1982. When the judge announced the verdict, Saddam shouted, "Long live the people. Long live the Arab nation. Down with the spies. God is great."Chief defense lawyer Khalil al-Dulaimi later quoted a statement from Saddam Hussein given just before the Court issued its verdict. He said that Saddam urged his countrymen to "unify in the face of sectarian strife". Al-Dulaimi added that Saddam's message to the people was to "pardon and do not take revenge on the invading nations, its civilians". An appeal, mandated by the Iraqi judicial system, followed. There was speculation that the appeals could last years, postponing his actual execution. However, on 26 December, Saddam's appeal was rejected and the death sentence was given. No further appeals were possible and Saddam had to be executed within 30 days of that date. The decision still had to be ratified by the Iraqi President but could not be commuted. Judge Arif Shaheen, one of the nine appeal judges, said, "It cannot exceed 30 days. As from tomorrow the sentence could be carried out at any time. The appeals court has issued its verdict. What we have decided today is compulsory."
On 30 December 2006 at approximately 6:05 am Baghdad time, Saddam Hussein's sentence was carried out and he was executed by hanging.
Among Saddam's co-defendants, Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, his half-brother and Iraq's intelligence chief at the time of the Dujail killings, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, who issued death sentences to Dujail residents as head of a Revolutionary Court, were also sentenced to death by hanging. They were executed on 15 January 2007. The former Iraqi vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadan was sentenced to life in prison.However, on 12 February 2007, the sentence was changed to death by hanging, and Ramadan was executed on 20 March 2007.
Former Ba'ath party officials in the Dujail region Abdullah Kadhem Roweed Al-Musheikhi, his son Mizher Abdullah Roweed Al-Musheikhi, and Ali Daeem Ali were sentenced to 15 years in prison. Mohammed Azawi Ali, also a Ba'ath party official in Dujail region, was acquitted due to a lack of evidence.
Saddam was executed by hanging after being convicted of crimes against humanity following his trial and conviction for the illegal killings of 148 Shi'as in the town of Dujail in 1982. He was hanged on the first day of an important Islamic holiday, Eid ul-Adha, 30 December 2006, at approximately 06:05 AM local time (03:05 UTC). The execution was carried out at "Camp Justice," an Iraqi army base in Kazimain, a neighborhood of northeast Baghdad.
Critics, including Saddam's legal counsel Khalil al-Dulaimi, alleged that American officials had a heavy influence on the court.In a statement, Khalil said, "this court is a creature of the US military occupation, and the Iraqi court is just a tool and rubber stamp of the invaders."
Khalil al-Dulaimi and various international commentators alleged that the date on which the verdict was read live to the world, 5 November 2006, was deliberately selected by the Bush Administration in order to influence the US midterm elections which occurred two days later. This has been called a November Surprise.The verdict was expected to be on 16 October 2006, but was postponed to consider recalling some of the witnesses. Even as the verdict was released verbally on 5 November, the written, final verdict was not released until days later.
The Washington Post reported that "Americans have drafted most of the statutes under which Hussein and his associates are being tried". It also reported that "A US official in Baghdad confirmed last weekend that only the United States and Britain had contributed experts to advise the court on how to prosecute governments for war crimes and other such matters".
The human rights organization Amnesty International criticized the death sentence and said the trial was "deeply flawed and unfair." The process was marred by "serious flaws that call into question the capacity of the tribunal," Malcolm Stuart, director of Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa program, said. "In particular, political interference undermined the independence and impartiality of the court."The specific concerns raised by Amnesty International included the status of the trial as a "Special Trial" (unconstitutional according to the Iraqi Constitution), political interference in trial proceedings by the removal of a judge mid-trial, exclusion of members of the defense team at points in the trial, assassination of multiple members of the defence team, and the closure of the trial before the defence team had completed presenting its legal case.
In the opening statement of the Jury of Conscience of the World Tribunal on Iraq, keynote speaker Arundhati Roy retorted, "Saddam Hussein is being tried as a war criminal even as we speak. But what about those who helped to install him in power, who armed him, who supported him—and who are now setting up a tribunal to try him and absolve themselves completely?"
Journalist Mohamad Bazzi wrote in 2014 that Hussein's trial and execution deepened sectarianism in Iraq:
The vengeful and sectarian way in which Hussein was killed deepened the civil war that had been raging inside Iraq since early 2006—Sunni violence against Shiites, followed by Shiite reprisals. And if there wasn’t a deep-rooted Sunni-Shiite rift in the region before Hussein’s hanging, there certainly was one after. In the days following his execution, Hussein emerged as a Sunni Arab hero who stood calm and defiant as his Shiite executioners tormented him. No one will ever forget the way in which Saddam was executed,” then–Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak told the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot . “They turned him into a martyr.” ...
Sunnis framed the hasty execution as an act of sectarian vengeance, shrouded in political theater and overseen by the American occupation. In several Arab capitals, Sunni protesters railed against the United States, Israel, and “Persians”—a code word for Shiites. Sunnis across the region saw the United States and the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government as killing off the last vestiges of Arab nationalism. ...
And in death, a new narrative emerged about the Iraqi dictator: that he had blocked Iranian dominance of the region, and had stood up to Israel.
Tariq Aziz (Arabic: طارق عزيز Ṭāriq ʿAzīz was Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and a close advisor of President Saddam Hussein. Their association began in the 1950s when both were activists for the then-banned Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party. Although he was an Arab nationalist he was in fact an ethnic Assyrian, and a member of the Chaldean Catholic Church.
Taha Yasin Ramadan al-Jizrawi was an Iraqi Kurd, who served as one of the three Vice Presidents of Iraq from March 1991 to the fall of Saddam Hussein in April 2003.
Ali Hassan Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was a Ba'athist Iraqi Defence Minister, Interior Minister, military commander and chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service. He was also the governor of Kuwait during much of the 1990-91 Gulf War.
Barzan Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti, also known as Barazan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Barasan Ibrahem Alhassen and Barzan Hassan, was one of three half-brothers of Saddam Hussein, and a leader of the Mukhabarat, the Iraqi intelligence service. Despite falling out of favour with Saddam at one time, he was believed to have been a close presidential adviser at the time of his capture. On 15 January 2007, he was hanged for crimes against humanity. The rope decapitated him because wrong measurements were used in conjunction with how far he was dropped from the platform.
The Islamic Dawa Party, also known as the Islamic Call Party, is a political party in Iraq. Dawa and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council are two of the main parties in the religious-Shiite United Iraqi Alliance, which won a plurality of seats in both the provisional January 2005 Iraqi election and the longer-term December 2005 election. The party is led by Haider al-Abadi, who was the Prime Minister of Iraq from 8 September 2014 to October 2018. The party backed the Iranian Revolution and also Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during the Iran–Iraq War and the group still receives financial support from Tehran despite ideological differences with the Islamic Republic.
The Iraqi High Tribunal (IHT), formerly the Iraqi Special Tribunal and sometimes referred to as the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal, is a body established under Iraqi national law to try Iraqi nationals or residents accused of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes or other serious crimes committed between 1968 and 2003. It organized the trial of Saddam Hussein and other members of his Ba'ath Party regime.
Awad Hamad al-Bandar was an Iraqi chief judge under Saddam Hussein's presidency. He was a member of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party and was the head of the Revolutionary Court which issued death sentences against 143 Dujail residents, in the aftermath of the failed assassination attempt on the president on 8 July 1982.
Rizgar Mohammed Amin is the former chief judge of the Iraqi Special Tribunal's Al-Dujail trial. He is the only judge whose name was revealed on the trial's opening on 19 October 2005, the names of the other four judges and all but two of his four colleagues faces not allowed to be shown during the televised portions of the trial.(Telegraph.co.uk - 12:30AM GMT 15 January 2006)
Ali Daeem Ali served as an Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party official in Dujail in 1982, when he is accused of involvement in the executions of 148 Shia Muslims in the area. He was tried alongside Saddam Hussein and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Mizhar Abdullah Ruaid is a former Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party official in the Dujail region is Iraq, and the son of Abdullah Kadhem Ruaid. He was arrested in 2005 by US Forces while still living in Dujail. The arresting unit was A/1-128 Infantry of the Wisconsin Army National Guard. He was convicted of involvement in the killings of 148 Shia Muslims during the Al-Dujail trial of Saddam Hussein, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Abdullah Kadhem Ruaid is a former Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party official in the Dujail region is Iraq, and the father of Mizher Abdullah Roweed Al-Musheikhi. He was arrested in 2005. He was convicted of involvement in the killings of 148 Shia Muslims during the Al-Dujail trial of Saddam Hussein, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Rauf Rashid Abd al-Rahman is the replacement chief judge of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal's Al-Dujail trial of Saddam Hussein in 2006, when he sentenced Saddam and some of his top aides to death by hanging.
Capital punishment is a legal penalty in Iraq. It was commonly used by the government of Saddam Hussein; and has been since his removal from office. After the invasion of Iraq in 2003, U.S. administrator, L. Paul Bremer, suspended capital punishment on June 10, declaring that "the former regime used certain provisions of the penal code as a means of oppression, in violation of internationally acknowledged human rights."
The execution of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein took place on Saturday, 30 December 2006. Saddam was sentenced to death by hanging, after being convicted of crimes against humanity by the Iraqi Special Tribunal for the murder of 148 Iraqi Shi'ites in the town of Dujail in 1982, in retaliation for an assassination attempt against him.
The Dujail Massacre refers to the events following an assassination attempt against the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, on 8 July 1982 in Dujail. The city had a large Shiite population, with 75,000 residents at the time of the incident. It is located 53 km (33 mi) from Baghdad in the predominantly-Sunni Salaheddin province of Iraq.
House of Saddam is a 2008 drama that charted the rise and fall of Saddam Hussein. A co-production between BBC Television and HBO Films, the series was first broadcast on BBC Two in four parts between 30 July and 20 August 2008.
The 1999 Shia uprising in Iraq refers to a short period of unrest in Iraq in early 1999 following the killing of Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr by the then Ba'athist government of Iraq. The protests and ensuing violence were strongest in the heavily Shia neighborhoods of Baghdad, as well as southern majority Shiite cities such as Karbala, Nasiriyah, Kufa, Najaf, and Basra.
Hussein Rashid Mohammed al-Tikriti is a former Iraqi military commander, who formerly served as the General Secretary of the General Command of the Armed Forces of Iraq.
Reactions to the execution of Saddam Hussein were varied. Some strongly supported the execution, particularly those personally affected by Saddam's actions as leader. Some of these victims wished to see him brought to trial for his other actions, alleged to have resulted in a much greater number of deaths than those for which he was convicted. Some believed the execution would boost morale in Iraq, while others feared it would incite further violence. Many in the international community supported Saddam being brought to justice but objected in particular to the use of capital punishment. Saddam's supporters condemned the action as unjust.
The 1979 Ba'ath Party Purge was a public purge of the Iraqi Ba'ath Party orchestrated on July 22, 1979 by then-president Saddam Hussein.
|Wikinews has a section about Saddam Hussein and article relating to this story:|