INDEPENDENT NEWS

Iraq must judge Saddam, say Greens

Published: Mon 15 Dec 2003 10:55 AM
Iraq must judge Saddam, say Greens
The Green Party has welcomed the arrest of Saddam Hussein, but is concerned that his American captors will deny him justice, in exactly the same way that the dictator himself denied justice to tens of thousands of his countrymen.
"Saddam was a brutal dictator and needs to tried for his crimes against the Iraqi people," said Keith Locke, the Green Party foreign affairs spokesperson. "However, this trial should be conducted by Iraqi judges or an international tribune, not the American or British occupation forces.
"We don't want 'Guantanamo-style' justice where the defendants are denied their legal rights. The trial of Saddam should be part of the assertion of Iraqi sovereignty," said Mr Locke.
The Green MP pointed out that some 660 prisoners of the White House's "war on terror" were still being held by US special forces at a Guantanamo Bay camp in conditions of described by a senior British judge as being "beyond the rule of law, beyond the protection of any courts and at the mercy of victors".
"It would be short-sighted to think this arrest will make the American and British occupation any more acceptable to the Iraqi people," said Mr Locke.
"It may actually give impetus to the Iraq movement for self-rule. People previously reluctant to come out against the Americans for fear of being associated with Saddam Hussein may now become more vocal.
"Many of the problems still afflicting Iraq are due to a perception that the American occupation force operates without regard to the interest and sensibilities of Iraqis," said Mr Locke. "The trigger-happy conduct of the occupiers so far has only added to that perception.
"The White House must now prove its respect for the principles of justice by handing Saddam over to trial in a legitimate court."

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