Wednesday, December 08, 2004

It's not Saddam I'm concerned for. It's just that we made such a big thing about giving him a trial when he was first captured. This article from the Scotsman is the first I've heard about him for a long time - although you sometimes hear about 'Saddam loyalists'. The only other mention I've seen so far is in the Washington Times from UPI, and they don't fully explain the last minute cancellation and the inference that Americans are behind it. I'm not sure you can take the latter to the bank, but if the Iraqi government is blaming all their unpopular decisions on Americans, that could be a problem too. Are we going to try him or not - with or without free and unfettered access to his lawyers? Either could create serious problems, given that he could become a focus for Sunni obstructionists.

Ziad al-Khasawneh said in an interview that the Iraqi Bar Association obtained court permission last week for defence team member Khalil al-Duleimi, an Iraqi, to meet with Saddam today.

“But the syndicate called the lawyer earlier today to say the meeting has been indefinitely postponed,” said al-Khasawneh, who heads the Jordan-based legal team appointed by Saddam’s wife Sajida.

“The abrupt cancellation indicates that there was a last-minute decision to ban the meeting,” he said. “That decision appears to have come from the top, neither from the court nor from the Iraqi government because both have no say in front of Iraq’s real ruler, the United States of America.”

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