The stars of this summer's blockbuster movies have nothing on the high-profile defendants facing trial in the criminal court system. Michael Jackson is a marquee attraction that grabs daily headlines. However, now comes the most notorious criminal defendant of them all: Saddam Hussein. The deposed Iraqi leader recently faced charges referring to crimes such as the gassing of Kurdish villagers, the killing thousands including political activists and religious figures and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait all of which occurred during his rule. Saddam's trial has been the subject of intense discussion by
people, some of whose written opinions were reported in Sydney Morning Herald. These state that although non-Iraqi judges should assist with the trial, for many Iraqis already ashamed that they needed the US to topple Saddam's regime for them, the participation of foreign judges
will constitute a further slur on Iraqi competence and will be a
slap in the face to an already
If Saddam is convicted and merely given a jail term, most Iraqi's will see it as a let-down and will dismiss the tribunal as weak and ineffectual.
For them, nothing short of the
death sentence, promptly carried
out will be acceptable- a sentiment apparently shared by US President George Bush when
he stated "He is a torturer, a murderer...This is a disgusting
tyrant who deserves justice, the ultimate justice."
As reported in an article entitled 'A tyrant in the dock' extracted from the Sydney morning herald on the 2nd of July, Saddam Hussein didn't appear to understand his rights in court. Seeming to think he was still
in power, he repeatedly raised his
hand, as though he may silence the judge. The defiant Saddam
kept firing back with statements such as "I am the president" before questioning the judges authority.