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Cablegate: Kuwaitis Hopeful for Death Penalty As Saddam's

VZCZCXRO6332
PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK RUEHMOS
DE RUEHKU #4532/01 2951334
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 221334Z OCT 05
FM AMEMBASSY KUWAIT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1446
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEHKU/OMC-K KUWAIT KU
RUEHKU/USDAO KUWAIT KU

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 004532

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ARPI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MOPS PINS IZ KU
SUBJECT: KUWAITIS HOPEFUL FOR DEATH PENALTY AS SADDAM'S
TRIAL BEGINS; ITG HAS LIST OF GOK CHARGES

1. (SBU) Summary. Kuwaiti newspapers, television and radio
stations gave front-page, first-item coverage to the start of
Saddam Hussein's trial in Iraq. Kuwaitis interviewed called
for the death penalty and said that Saddam and his cohorts
had "too much" to answer for during the 1990-1991 Iraqi
invasion of Kuwait. Government and private individuals
expressed satisfaction that the trial phase was finally
underway and that Kuwaiti charges against Saddam could soon
be read aloud in court. The GOK passed a charge sheet to the
Iraqis in May 2005 detailing acts committed by Saddam, eight
of his top aides, and 293 lesser officials. The indictments
focus on "crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the use of
force to invade Kuwait." Also included are the abduction of
605 people, considered to be the POW/MIAs, and the torture,
and in some cases rape, of 5,733 people of various
nationalities. Several Kuwaitis interviewed stated that
death was too small a punishment for Saddam and that a more
severe type of punishment should be administered. End
summary.

Saddam's Face in Every Paper
----------------------------

2. (SBU) October 20 newspapers were plastered with the image
of Saddam Hussein, sitting in the docks, as his trial opened
in Iraq. Accompanying the photos were multiple articles,
each one going over a different part of the trial: the
charges requested by the GOK, the biographies of his seven
co-defendants, the transcript of the trial itself. Local
newspapers laid out the trial procedures while accompanying
editorials overwhelmingly voiced satisfaction that Saddam
would finally have to face charges for crimes against Kuwait.
Although Arabs interviewed outside Kuwait stated that the
U.S. involvement in the trial made it difficult to be
considered 'fair', the Kuwaiti standpoint was clearly
enunciated by locals who said they had been waiting "fifteen
years for this day to come." One 35 year-old man remarked
"if there was a bigger penalty than death, I would have
called for it."

Crimes Against Humanity and Others
----------------------------------

3. (SBU) Although the trial opened with the charges relating
to the murder of 143 villagers from Dujail, local press
accounts spoke about the charges that the GOK asked to be
raised against Saddam and those in his regime. For the GOK,
first on the indictment sheet are crimes against humanity,
including the torture of 5,733 people within Kuwait during
the occupation. The GOK has kept photographic evidence of
the torture and murder which occurred during the occupation
and has first-hand written accounts of the rapes perpetrated
by Iraqi forces. Under war crimes is the disappearance of
605 people of nine differing nationalities, their subsequent
murders, and Saddam's failure to respond to calls for
repatriating their remains. (Note: 250 sets of remains have
been identified as being from the group of POW/MIAs.
Forensic evidence indicates that many of the individuals
being shot, execution style, in the back of the head. End
note.) The invasion itself is also included and many in
Kuwait feel that the charges will be more than sufficient to
apply the death penalty.

4. (SBU) The indictment list, or charge sheet, was drawn up
by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Legal Division over the
past year. The charges themselves were kept close-hold and
the Legal Division sent a delegation to Amman to personally
deliver the indictment list and reference information to the
Iraqi Embassy in May. Local press reports have spoken of the
charge sheet in generalities but have not published a
complete list of all the charges.

Death Not "Enough"
------------------

5. (SBU) Local media interviewed a number of Kuwaitis for
reaction to the trial. Kuwaitis overwhelmingly supported the
death penalty although some interviewed said that death
"wasn't enough" of a punishment and that Saddam should be
made to suffer for the rest of his life. One member of
Parliament (MP) Ahmed Al-Mulaifi said that the trial should
"send a message to tyrants all over the world" while Kuwait
University professors weighed in with opinions that the trial
should focus on Saddam's crimes against Shiites, Kurds, as
well as Sunnis, and that the indictments should include both
local and international crimes.


KUWAIT 00004532 002 OF 002


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LEBARON

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