Friday, October 14, 2005

UK lawyer joins Saddam's defence

A UK lawyer who helped free the Guildford Four in 1989 is joining the legal team to defend ex-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein on mass murder charges. Anthony Scrivener QC joins the defence for the Iraqi-run trial, which is due to start at a secret location next week, the BBC's Newsnight has learned.

Saddam Hussein's lawyers have attacked the legitimacy of the tribunal and say they do not know all the charges.

Chief judge Raed Juhi has said he hopes the proceedings will be televised.

Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Bindman said Mr Scrivener's decision would help to avoid the trial "descending into farce".

"If this is not to become a mockery, [it is important] that there are proper lawyers and good lawyers on the defence side, who can help to make it into a fair process," he said.

Abdel Haq Alani, the Iraqi-born barrister who has assembled the defence team, told Newsnight the Iraqi Special Tribunal where the trial is due to start on 19 October was illegal

"It was drafted by an occupying power. It has no right under international law to change the legal system of the occupied land," he said.

The only charges so far detailed against Saddam and seven associates relate to 143 executions in the Shia village of Dujail in 1982, which followed a failed assassination attempt on the leader.

So let me get this straight , We have sent our forces around the world to fight and die removing this dictator who is being charged with the deaths of just 143 people !

Read the full Article Here and watch the video from the BBC Here

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