Thursday, January 04, 2007

3 Arrested Over Mocking & Filming Sadam Hussein Hanging; Justice served with Saddam's death? Why ICJ Not an Option?; A World Without Saddam Hussein

Update Jan 15 07; For the latest Post (Jan 15 2007) , GO H E R E On…

NO PICTURES orVIDEO Released on the HANGING of SADDAM’s Half-Brother BARZAN IBRAHIM al-Tikriti (Whose Head was decapitated (severed) by Rope) & Awad Ahmed al-Bandar; 2 Former Aides -Executed early Monday on Jan 15 07; 16 Days After Saddam Hussein.
The official Video filmed was shown to a selected group of people & reporters (AP, CNN, Reuters etc) as proof that the two were executed and the Iraqi offcial said copies would NOT be released, check it out in the above link for the details.
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Another Two Hangings today postponed to Sunday, 7th Jan 07 & postponed to unknown date
Mr. Hussein's half brother Barzan Ibrahim (Right), a former intelligence chief, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar (LEFT), the former chief justice of the Revolutionary Court, are scheduled to hang at 6.00 am on 4th Jan 07

Three officials arrested for filming Saddam hanging - Ned Parker of The Times in Baghdad and Devika Bhat

Three prison officials have now been arrested for mocking Saddam Hussein in his last minutes alive and then posting on the internet a grotesque video of his execution, The Times has learnt. "Three people have been detained. They were prison officials," a government official said, requesting anonymity.

"Two of them were chanting and one was filming with a mobile." The government investigation had questioned the 20 men, including the 14 witnesses, who were in the gallows chamber, the official said. He ruled out the possibility that any senior officials were behind posting the grisly footage on the Internet after one witness, prosecutor Munqith Faroun, said he had watched two government members film Saddam’s hanging with their cellphone cameras.

"I’m guessing they probably did film, but they didn’t release it," the official said. The arrested prison officials had goaded Saddam with a chant popular among the followers of radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr, which one of them ended by shouting the fundamentalist leader’s name. "They were from Sadr City, but they were not militia men," the official said, referring to the Shia slum of 2.5 million people in eastern Baghdad, which Sadr controls through his Mahdi Army militia. Earlier, Sadiq al-Rikabi, political adviser to Nouri al-Maliki, the Prime Minister, told The Times that a guard was arrested Tuesday night after an inquiry was launched into who captured the graphic footage.

"This mistake was investigated and now the person who took this video and released it has been identified and arrested last night," Mr Rikabi told The Times. "Now we will try to find out whether he did this on purpose, whether anyone asked him to take the footage, or did he do this not recognising the consequences." Mr Rikabi reiterated that the Prime Minister had wanted the execution of the former dictator to be a sombre affair and that all the witnesses had their phones and cameras removed from them beforehand. "The PM did not want revenge; he wanted to implement justice," he said, adding of the arrested guard: "He will pay the price.

" Mr al-Maliki had previously vowed to track down and punish those responsible for the unauthorised recording, which revealed the former dictator being taunted seconds before his death, with someone shouting "Go to hell". Some earlier reports had focused on the alleged role of Mowaffaq al-Rubaie, who as National Security Adviser was one of the most senior officials present at the execution. The New York Times reported that Mr Rubaie was seen by Faroon, his fellow witness, holding a mobile phone camera up to record the proceedings.

But this was adamantly denied today by Mr Faroon, who insisted that he had not named anyone to the newspaper. "I am not accusing Mowaffak al-Rubaie, and I did not see him taking pictures," he said. "But I saw two of the government officials who were...present during the execution taking all the video of the execution, using the lights that were there for the official taping of the execution. "They used mobile phone cameras. I do not know their names, but I would remember their faces," he told the Associated Press.

Mr Rikabi said he did not see how a senior official could have secretly recorded the execution. "All of their mobile phones had been taken when they were waiting for the helicopter to take them from the Green Zone to Saddam’s execution."

The recording, which has been widely distributed across the internet, has brought widespread condemnation of the manner of Saddam’s execution and has proved a major embarrassment for the Iraqi government. The grainy but disturbing images have entirely overshadowed the official footage of the death, which do not show the moment of the execution and give the impression of a dignified exit for the former President.

In Iraq, the widely distributed images have inflamed already bitter sectarian tensions between Shias and the Sunni minority, with thousands of the latter flocking to Saddam’s home town of Tikrit to mourn the late leader. The issue has also been an irritant for Downing Street, which has had to balance Britain’s long-standing opposition to the death penalty with an insistence that Saddam’s fate was a matter for the Iraqi authorities.

Tony Blair, who is staying at the Florida home of the former Bee Gee Robin Gibb, has been criticised by some Labour MPs for failing to make an official statement about the execution. Today, a spokeswoman for Mr Blair said that the inquiry into what "went wrong" had the backing of the Prime Minister, but she refused to endorse comments made yesterday by John Prescott, his deputy, who said that the manner of the hanging was "deplorable". Meanwhile, a spokesman for the US military said that the execution would have been handled differently if under their control. "If you’re asking me if we would have done things differently, yes we would have," said Major General William Caldwell. "But that’s not our decision, that’s the Government of Iraq’s decision," he said

= = = = == = BACKGROUND Reading

December 15, 2003 Saddam Hussein's Trial by Paul Rosenzweig

WebMemo #384(This is an updated version of WebMemo #266, originally published on April 22, 2003.) Saddam Hussein has been captured. How will he, and other members of his regime, be brought to justice? The United States could defer to a newly formed Iraqi court system, or lead the way through Coalition trials. These and all options -- except for the International Criminal Court -- should be considered. Though, in the end, the Iraqi judicial system should be given preference once it is capable of handling the matter in a fair and just manner. History offers a lesson. After World War II, the Allies used three different judicial mechanisms:

Nuremberg trials. Most prominently, the war’s victors convened the Nuremberg trials where the leaders of the Nazi war machine were tried before a tribunal of judges drawn from the major allied powers. The allies jointly created, staffed and administered these tribunals and they operated based upon principles of international law, independent of the laws of the countries who fought the war. The Nuremberg trials began in October 1945 and lasted until 1947 trying various people. 2. Independent Military Tribunals. Each of the allied powers also convened its own independent military tribunals where other leaders – often, military commanders such as Japan’s General Tomoyuki Yamashita -- were tried. In the end, hundreds of foreign nationals were tried (for violations of the laws of war) in military courts very much like the military tribunals presently authorized for the Guantanamo detainees. 3. Renewed German and Japanese Courts. Once civil government was restored and judicial systems renewed many of the less significant offenders were tried in the renewed German and Japanese courts.

Several thousand such trials were held as the German and Japanese populace regained their independence and sovereignty from their ruling dictators. All three of these options are reasonable possibilities for dealing with Saddam, and other high-ranking member of his regime. Indeed, a combination of all three options is the most likely result, as thousands more as-yet-unidentified Iraqis will be tried for their role in the brutal Saddam state. Where possible, the coalition forces should defer to a renewed Iraqi judicial system. However a hasty trial is not necessary and it would be best to first insure that the newly-refurbished Iraqi court system can function in a fair and transparent manner that will engender the confidence of the world. History reminds us that it took a lot longer than six months to capture and try all the Nazi and Japanese war criminals. For military officers, a coalition or U.S. tribunal is especially appropriate for any high-level officials who have tortured or killed coalition POWs, directed – or engaged in – war crimes (such as false surrenders) that led to coalition deaths.

ICC Not an Option There is one option that should not be adopted: reliance on the mechanism of the United Nations. The permanent International Criminal Court in The Hague was created as part of a treaty the United States has, rightly, chosen not to signit lacks the authority to conduct Iraqi war crimes trials. And any temporary court for Iraq (similar to ones already in place of Kosovo and Rwanda) would have to be approved by the Security Council – the same Council that declined, in the first instance, to assist in the end of the Iraqi dictatorship – a poor option indeed, that would needlessly mire the prosecution of war crimes in international politics. Some in the so-called “international human rights” community have called for UN involvement in the war crimes trial. While the international community has, paradoxically, urged a swifter return of Iraqi sovereignty they now, paradoxically, caution against too rapid a return of the Iraqi judicial system. These activists have also complained that by excluding the UN coalition forces are attempting to limit the scope of the proposed tribunals – that without a UN trial nobody will examine American conduct in Iraq. And that, of course, proves the absurdity of the “international option.” Any organization calling for examination of American conduct in Iraq has lost all credibility, both with the US government and the American people.

The war crimes atrocities – the false flag surrenders, the murder of POWs and the unlawful use of hospitals and mosques as defense points (not to mention the pre-war torture and murder of millions) were Iraqi crimes, not American. The international fixation on alleged American wrongdoing is one more reason why the international courts are an inappropriate forum for judging the Iraqi regime.

= = = == = = = == = = = from NATION; Thailand

EDITORIAL: Justice served with Saddam's death

Former tyrant's ignominious end should usher in a new era for Iraq and allow it to finally embrace democracy Sun, December 31, 2006

The former tyrant of Iraq, Saddam Hussein was executed by hanging, although the judicial process leading to the punishment was flawed, it has nonetheless brought a sense of closure to Saddam's 24-year brutal rule and ushered in a new Iraq – for better or worse. There is much to be said about the importance of a fair trial and the due process of law, which even evil people like Saddam and his henchmen are entitled to. From a legalistic standpoint, the court proceedings could have been better conducted in order to serve justice.

However, generally speaking, given the overwhelming evidence of the atrocities committed by Saddam, the final verdict would have been no different even if the process had been allowed to drag on for years. Saddam was found guilty of the killing, torture and commission of other crimes against the Shi'ite population of the town of Dujail after some militants from al-Maliki's Dawa party initiated a failed assassination attempt against him there in 1982, during Iraq's war with Shi'ite Iran. This particular case, however, constituted a small fraction of the genocide ordered by Saddam against Iraqi citizens. By having Saddam executed sooner rather than later, the al-Maliki government appears to have bowed to the tremendous pressure exerted by Shi'ites who wanted to see him pay for the crimes he committed against them.

In a low-key statement, US President George W Bush said simply that Saddam's execution signified a triumph for the democracy that he promised to foster in Iraq after the 2003 invasion and toppling of the former dictator's regime. International human-rights groups dismissed the trial as a charade of justice. Three defence lawyers were murdered and a chief judge resigned citing political interference over the course of the year-long trial. The United Nations and many Western countries also have misgivings about the death sentence handed down on Saddam. It is worth noting that all of the crimes that Saddam committed took place at a time when the tyrant was supported or on friendly terms with the US and virtually all Western countries, including Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Russia - countries that all had strategic reasons to turn a blind eye to the suffering of the Iraqi people.

His death will make little difference in the foreseeable future to the worsening situation in Iraq, which is sliding towards a civil war between Sunnis and Shi'ites. An upsurge in sectarian violence will likely ensue. Saddam may be seen by some as a martyr and a unifying point for a cry of vengeance against the Shi'ites and the US-led occupying forces, or he may be relegated to the scrap heap of history. What happens will not change the US's strategy to temporarily boost its military presence before gradually pulling out over the next few years, as the Iraqi military is being primed to take responsibility for the country's national security.

If Saddam's execution serves any purpose it should be to send a clear message to tyrannical rulers everywhere who have committed or are committing crimes against humanity that they could one day be made accountable for their evil deeds. Too many murderous dictators have managed to escape justice and live out their retirements in relative comfort instead of being punished for their heinous crimes. In carrying out the death sentence against Saddam, the fledgling Iraqi government wanted to be seen as taking charge and made it clear to Iraqis that they can now move forward, rebuild their tortured nation and determine their own destiny, hopefully as a democratic unitary state. There is also a lesson to be learned by the Iraqi people regardless of whether they are Sunni, Shi'ite or Kurdish. That is that by putting an end to Saddam's reign of terror, the Iraqi people now have the opportunity to embrace democracy, which is the best defence against the tyranny that victimised them for so long under Saddam. Unless Iraqis learn from their painful past, the spectre of a bloodthirsty strongman similar to Saddam could well come back in another guise. One must not underestimate what evil can accomplish when given time and resources.

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The REAL TRUTH does not take political positions, nor side with or against men’s governments or leaders. Our position is strictly neutral

A World Without Saddam Hussein; Will Atrocities and Global Suffering Decrease?

A dictator is dead. Found guilty of committing crimes against humanity and executed 56 days later, an unrepentant Saddam Hussein was defiant to the end. Nevertheless, all who feared the former Iraqi ruler would somehow return to power and continue his reign of terror—mass murder, executions, political imprisonment, merciless beatings, eye gougings, electric shock, amputations, beheadings, rape rooms, lethal concentration camps, assassinations and religious persecution—can now breathe a sigh of relief. Saddam Hussein was convicted on November 5, 2006, of crimes against humanity.

But for how long?Hours after Mr. Hussein met his end at the gallows, Shiite Muslims throughout Iraq, as well as in other parts of the world, danced in the streets. Though the Shiites, at 13 million, are the majority of Iraq’s population, the Saddam Hussein regime had imposed severe restrictions on their religious practice. According to human rights watch groups, Mr. Hussein used allegations of prostitution to intimidate his opponents—charges that were often used to justify the barbaric beheading of women.

Under his regime, documented chemical attacks, from 1983 to 1988, resulted in the deaths of some 30,000 Iraqis and Iranians. It has been estimated that Saddam Hussein’s 1987-88 campaign of terror—which included mustard gas and nerve agent attacks—destroyed 2,000 Kurdish villages and killed at least 50,000 Kurds, and perhaps as many as 200,000. Not even those of his own flesh-and-blood were safe, as Mr. Hussein murdered approximately 40 of his relatives.

The World Reacts

As the hour of his execution drew near, the BBC reported that many freely expressed their thoughts regarding Saddam Hussein’s trial and death sentence. “We are not surprised at this verdict,” commented the Iraqi Parliament Deputy Speaker. “Quite the contrary; this verdict was a long time in coming.” Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki stated, “Maybe this will help alleviate the pain of the widows and the orphans and those who have been ordered to bury their loved ones in secrecy, and those who have been forced to suppress their feelings and suffering, and those who have paid at the hands of torturers, and those who have been deprived of the basic human rights, like education and profession.”

U.S. President George W. Bush called Saddam Hussein’s trial and subsequent execution a milestone for Iraq’s young democracy, as it replaced the rule of a tyrant with the rule of law. While European Union member-states such as the United Kingdom and Spain expressed that Mr. Hussein and other leaders in his former regime must answer for their atrocities, Germany rejected the execution. The EU upheld its official opposition to capital punishment, even with crimes against humanity as the charge. The Vatican viewed Mr. Hussein’s legal execution as punishing a crime with another crime. Even Iran weighed in. While welcoming the death sentence, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry reminded the world, “We cannot forget the Western protectors of Saddam who by supporting him prepared the ground for the execution of his crimes.”

“Today is better than tomorrow

The hanging of Saddam Hussein removed one more murderous dictator from planet Earth. However, what does this ultimately mean for the Iraqi people—America—the world? Can we expect peace, security and prosperity to eventually break out in war-torn Iraq? Will the Iraqi insurgents lay down their arms and allow democracy to take hold? Will other Islamic militants give up their hatred for the West?

America is trapped in a catch-22 situation: Leave Iraq, thereby emboldening insurgent forces to continue their quest of turning the nation into an anti-Western Islamic theocracy—or stay for the long haul, thus adding fuel to the flames of anti-Americanism throughout the Arab World.

Saddam Hussein, after his capture in 2003.

The conflict in Iraq continues to escalate with each passing day, giving rise to a popular Baghdad saying: “Today is better than tomorrow.” Such low expectations of a hopeful future can easily be applied to other regional hotspots, where entire societies are held hostage to relentless suffering under brutal, human-imposed conditions.
Communist North Korea is being led to the brink of disaster as millions there are starving. Society has degenerated so far that there are now reports from the Chinese-North Korean border of human meat being illegally sold in North Korean markets!

Then there is Africa, a daily study in ongoing misery and pain. The Lord’s Resistance Army is wreaking havoc in Northern Uganda. In Sudan’s Darfur region, the rising death toll and the growing number of lives left destitute is a harsh, undeniable reality—yet amazingly, no one leader is being held responsible. Zimbabwe is experiencing its own level of economic chaos and extreme poverty, with inflation at 1,100% and a loaf of bread selling for $895 (Zimbabwean dollars)! And South Africa, having been freed from the decades-long injustices of Apartheid, is now in bondage to heinous acts of crime, earning the title “Rape Capital of the World.” How long will it take for this First World nation to disintegrate into another Third World nightmare?

The death of a tyrannical despot creates a vacuum, only to be filled by other Saddams if humanity continues on its deadly course.

Lovers” Will Turn
America and her sister nations of the West might be tempted to sigh with relief at Saddam Hussein’s death. However, it must be remembered that Mr. Hussein was at one time a U.S. ally. These and other political alliances will come back to haunt the American and British peoples:

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Iraq to Execute Hussein Co-defendants

Posted GMT Jan-3-2007 19:8:34

Baghdad (AP) -- Preparations are under way to hang two of Saddam Hussein's co-defendants on Thursday but the details still have to be worked out with the American military, an Iraqi government official said Wednesday. Mr. Hussein's half brother Barzan Ibrahim, a former intelligence chief, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, the former chief justice of the Revolutionary Court, were originally scheduled to hang with Mr. Hussein, who was put to death on Saturday. But their execution was delayed until after Islam's Eid al-Adha holiday, which ends Wednesday for Iraq's majority Shiites. Al-Arabiya satellite television and Al-Furat TV, run by Iraq's major Shiite Muslim political organization, both reported Wednesday that Mr. Ibrahim and Mr. al-Bandar would go to the gallows on Thursday

= = = = = == Update 4th Jan 07

Saddam aides' execution postponed to Sunday

BAGHDAD - The execution of two former aides of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has been postponed by three days to Sunday, a Shiite lawmaker and an Iraqi government official both said. Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikrit, Saddam's half-brother and former intelligence chief, and Awad Ahmed al-Bandar, the head of the revolutionary court, were to be hanged Thursday. "I am sure it will be done on Sunday," said Shiite MP Baha al-Araji from the group of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Another senior official with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's office said that the execution was postponed "due to international pressure." UN chief backs call against Saddam aides' executions, execution postponed due to international pressure.



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