Monday, November 28, 2005

Tribunal Leader in Hussein's Case Is Target of Plot - New York Times

Published: November 28, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Nov. 27 - Less than 24 hours before Saddam Hussein's scheduled return to court on charges of crimes against humanity, the police in northern Iraq said Sunday that they had arrested 10 Sunni Arab men carrying orders from a fugitive associate of Mr. Hussein's to assassinate the court's best-known judge.

Iraqis in Najaf held photos of relatives they said had been killed by the government of Saddam Hussein.

Prosecutors have said they plan to bring their first witnesses against Mr. Hussein and other defendants when the court resumes in Baghdad on Monday after a six-week recess."

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Lawyer's Slaying Raises Questions on Hussein Trial

Published: October 22, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Saturday, Oct. 22 - The execution-style killing of a defense lawyer in the trial of Saddam Hussein and some top associates shocked Iraqi and American officials on Friday and renewed doubts about whether it is possible to hold a fair trial in the midst of a war that has spurred a wave of revenge killings against people linked to Mr. Hussein.

A group of a dozen armed men seized the lawyer, Sadoun al-Janabi, from his Baghdad office at 10 p.m. on Thursday and his body, with two bullet wounds to the head, was found in a rubbish-strewn lot nearby about an hour later, an Iraqi police spokesman said. The killing occurred less than 36 hours after Mr. Hussein's trial began on Wednesday, with live television coverage that identified Mr. Janabi by name and showed close-ups of him presenting arguments in the court on behalf of his client, Awad Hamed al-Bander, the former head of the Revolutionary Court under Mr. Hussein."

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Saddam Hussein Goes on Trial for Crimes Against Humanity - New York Times

Published: October 19, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 19 - Iraqi judges and prosecutors assembled this morning in a heavily guarded compound in central Baghdad as Saddam Hussein and seven defendants prepared to face charges in a 1982 massacre, beginning the long process of public reckoning for the decades of brutal repression that Mr. Hussein brought to Iraq.

Scores of Hussein supporters took the streets of Tikrit, the birthplace of the deposed president, to protest his trial.

Beneath a wan sky, with American helicopters swooping overhead, officials from the Iraqi special tribunal, most middle-aged men in dark suits, gathered near the convention center inside the fortified Green Zone to await transport to the courthouse. Accompanying them were human rights observers from international organizations. The Iraqi officials included Raad Juhi, the judge who has been leading the investigations into Mr. Hussein."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Hussein Goes on Trial Wednesday, and Iraqis See a First Accounting - New York Times

Published: October 18, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 17 - On Wednesday, 22 months after he was dragged from his hiding place in an underground bunker, Saddam Hussein will appear in an Iraqi court to answer for the brutalities he inflicted on his fellow Iraqis. But what should be a moment of triumph for his victims is instead stirring concern about the fairness and competence of the court itself.

The special Iraqi tribunal established to conduct the trial has chosen a case that many Iraqis believe to be too narrow to answer the widespread yearning for Mr. Hussein to be held to account for the most savage of his crimes. And the political pressure to hasten the trial has forced the tribunal to accelerate some of the work needed to prepare for other cases involving tens of thousands of victims, nearly 300 mass graves and about 40 tons of documents gathered from the government agencies that oversaw his repression."

Friday, July 29, 2005

Ignoring U.S., Chalabi Pursues Attempt to Fire Hussein Judge - New York Times

Published: July 27, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 26 - Aides to Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi said Tuesday that they planned to move forward with demands for the dismissal of the judge who has led the investigations of the mass killings committed under Saddam Hussein, ignoring American calls for restraint.

Ali Feisal, an aide to Mr. Chalabi, said the judge, Raid Juhi, was the most prominent of 19 judges, prosecutors and officials on a new list of those to be purged from the Iraqi tribunal set up to try Mr. Hussein and top officials of his government. All 19, Mr. Feisal said, are former members of Mr. Hussein's Baath Party and therefore legally ineligible to work for the tribunal.

'Juhi's on the top of the list,' Mr. Feisal said.

Mr. Juhi, 34, the tribunal's chief investigative judge, is considered by American lawyers working with the tribunal to be central to its work. While handling the initial court appearance of Mr. Hussein last July, Mr. Juhi met his defiance with a stolidness that stunned Iraqis."

If It's Civil War, Do We Know It - Iraq

Published: July 24, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq — The first signs that America's top officials in Iraq were revising their thinking about what they might accomplish in Iraq came a year ago. As Iraq resumed its sovereignty after the period of American occupation, the new American team that arrived then, headed by Ambassador John D. Negroponte, had a withering term for the optimistic approach of their predecessors, led by L. Paul Bremer III.

The new team called the departing Americans 'the illusionists,' for their conviction that America could create a Jeffersonian democracy on the ruins of Saddam Hussein's medieval brutalism. One American military commander began his first encounter with American reporters by asking, 'Well, gentlemen, tell me: Do you think that events here afford us the luxury of hope?'

It seemed clear then that the administration, for all its public optimism, had begun substituting more modest goals for the idealists' conception of Iraq. How much more modest has become clearer in the 12 months since."

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Hussein Tribunal Shaken by Chalabi's Bid to Replace Staff

Published: July 20, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 19 - The Iraqi tribunal preparing the trial of Saddam Hussein has been thrown into turmoil by the dismissal of nine senior staff members and a threat to dismiss 19 others, including the chief investigative judge.

The upheaval burst into public view on Tuesday when an aide to Ahmad Chalabi, the former Pentagon favorite who is a deputy prime minister in the transitional government, confirmed that Mr. Chalabi had begun to press for the removal of former members of Mr. Hussein's ruling Baath Party from the tribunal's staff of judges, prosecutors and administrators. Mr. Chalabi contends that the 28 men he has cited for removal are ineligible under Iraqi law to work at the tribunal because of their party affiliation.

It was not immediately clear whether his efforts would disrupt plans for the trial, which is to start in September. An aide to Mr. Chalabi, Ali Feisal, said Tuesday that Mr. Chalabi had delayed his push to dismiss the chief judge, Raid Juhi, and others of the tribunal's 65 members so as not to 'disrupt' the tribunal's work or plans for the Hussein trial, but that the removal of the former Baathists would continue as replacements were appointed."