Chalabi Charges Saddam's Trial Will Be a Political Show

Salem Chalabi, the former director of the Iraqi war crimes tribunal, warns that the interim Allawi government intends to hold a quick and dirty show trial of Saddam Hussein to boost Allawi's chances in the January elections:

"The caretaker government wants to begin the trials, and possibly even conclude them, before the Iraqi elections scheduled for late January because they believe this will help their popularity in the country," Chalabi said in the statement. "In addition, the accused have not had access to lawyers. How could fair trials begin quickly without the accused having access to legal counsel?"

He said the investigations were not ready for indictments or trials that would meet minimum legal standards. "It is increasingly clear that the interim government does not intend to honor these principals," he said.

Chalabi said the charges brought against him in August have been dropped, although he is still under investigation for murder of a foreign ministry official.

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