Saddam Hussein Trial Delayed (Again)

by TChris

With two defense lawyers murdered and another wounded, the team defending Saddam Hussein and his co-defendants asked for another continuance of Hussein's trial, which sputtered to a brief start today before being adjourned to December 5.

Hussein complained about walking up four flights of stairs in shackles (repairing the elevator is still on the Iraqi government's "to do" list) before, with characteristic bravado, he challenged the judge to do his job more forcefully.

The judge said he would tell the police not to let that happen again. Saddam snapped: "You are the chief judge. I don't want you to tell them. I want you to order them. They are in our country. You have the sovereignty. You are Iraqi and they are foreigners and occupiers. They are invaders. You should order them."

Hussein and his co-defendants are "charged in the killings of more than 140 Shiite Muslims after an assassination attempt against the former president in the Shiite town of Dujail in 1982." The court heard a bit of evidence before adjourning.

A videotape obtained from Iraqi intelligence was shown in court, depicting Saddam in Dujail right after the incident in a military uniform, questioning three men held by guards.

The court also played the videotaped testimony of former intelligence officer Wadah Ismael al-Sheik, who investigated the assassination attempt and died of cancer Oct. 27. ... According to the transcript, al-Sheik, who appeared frail and sat in a wheelchair in a U.S.-controlled hospital last month, said about 400 people were detained after the assassination attempt, although he estimated only between seven and 12 gunmen actively participated in the ambush of Saddam's convoy.

"I don't know why so many people were arrested," al-Sheik said, adding that Ibrahim, head of intelligence at the time, "was the one directly giving the orders."

A day after the assassination attempt, whole families were rounded up and taken to Abu Ghraib prison, he said.

Whether the trial actually resumes on December 5 may depend on whether the defense team is able to replace the assassinated lawyers. In the meantime, Shiite party leader Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim "accused the court of 'weakness' for not having sentenced Saddam to death already." His "skip the trial and put him to death" mentality sounds suspiciously like the behavior that led to universal condemndation of the Hussein regime.

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    Re: Saddam Hussein Trial Delayed (Again) (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:29 PM EST
    This "trial" is already more than off the absurdity charts. And off topic, but San Diego's own (or rorth San Diego County's own) Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham just pled guilty to taking bribes and being the utterly corrupt stooge he appeared to be on the face of this. At least he stood up and admitted his guilt without playing it out for years in the courts. I'll give him that. Facing ten years in prison. Hard to believe he won't get a few years at least.

    Re: Saddam Hussein Trial Delayed (Again) (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:29 PM EST
    That should a read "north" San Diego County's own Rep. Randy "Duke"...

    Re: Saddam Hussein Trial Delayed (Again) (none / 0) (#3)
    by The Heretik on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:29 PM EST
    I doubt the trial will pick up again next Monday either. Shootings and shoutings, just another day in Iraq. More on this with links at A Shout Out from Saddam