Report Charges U.S. Failed to Preserve Evidence Necessary for Saddam Trial

Human Rights Watch has a new report that charges the U.S. with failing to preserve critical evidence necessary for the trial of Saddam Hussein:

U.S.-led forces in Iraq failed to safeguard official documents belonging to Saddam Hussein's regime and protect mass graves of victims, a human rights watchdog charged Thursday, saying that could affect the trials of the former Iraqi dictator and his colleagues.

Coalition forces failed to stop people stealing thousands of official documents in the months after the March 2003 invasion, Human Rights Watch says in a report, ''Iraq: The State of the Evidence.'' The U.S.-led troops also failed to stop people from damaging some of the more than 250 mass graves in their search for the remains of relatives, the report said.

''Coalition forces subsequently failed to put in place the professional expertise and assistance necessary to ensure proper classification and exhumation procedures,'' said Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of the Middle East and North Africa Division of Human Rights Watch.

''As a result, it is very likely that key evidentiary materials have been lost or tainted,'' she said in a statement sent to The Associated Press.

The Guardian has more.

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