Cablegate: Prt Tikrit: Mcc Holds First Trials
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #3441 2891814
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161814Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3875
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS BAGHDAD 003441
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KCRS KCRM KJUS SNAR KWMN OTRA ECON IZ
SUBJECT: PRT TIKRIT: MCC HOLDS FIRST TRIALS
1. (U) This is a PRT Tikrit, Salah ad Din reporting cable.
2. (SBU) The key concern during the initial cases heard by
the new ad Din Province Major Crimes Court was whether local
judges would have the courage to carry out their duties or
whether they would succumb to intimidation by the insurgency
and refuse to hear terrorism cases or dispose of them
corruptly. The three defendants on trial were self-confessed
members of Al-Qaeda; all were found guilty. Based on
comments and reaction from Iraqi Police (IP) officers, it is
believed that the verdicts in these three cases will have a
very positive effect on the morale of the IP in Salah ad Din
MCC BEGINS HEARING TRIALS
3. (U) On September 9, the Salah ad Din Province Major Crimes
Court (MCC) opened pursuant to an Order passed by the Chief
Justice of Iraq. The new Salah ad Din MCC is located in a
heavily fortified complex on FOB Danger in downtown Tikrit.
The MCC was specially built for the purpose of hearing
terrorism cases. Regular non-terrorism cases will continue
to be heard at the old Tikrit City courthouse.
4. (U) Prior to the opening of the MCC, the PRT believed that
the "traveling judges" concept would be used to staff the
court. Under this concept, judges from outside the Province
are brought in for 30 day periods to hear terrorism cases.
The purpose of using "out of town" judges is of course to
minimize the possibility that the insurgency will resort to
threats and violence against the judges so as to compromise
the integrity of the court. However, the Chief Justice of
Iraq declined to approve the use of traveling judges for the
Salah ad Din MCC, instead ordering that it be staffed by
5. (U) All of the defendants on trial this week were
self-confessed members of Al-Qaeda. All three were found
guilty. The defendant in the first trial was convicted of
kidnapping ) he received a sentence of 15 years in prison.
In the second and third cases, the defendants were charged
with multiple counts of murder. Having been found guilty,
both defendants were sentenced to death.
6. (SBU) PRT observes that the victims in the murder cases
were Iraqi Police officers. Based on comments and reaction
from Iraqi Police (IP) officers in the wake of the verdicts
in these cases, it is believed that the verdicts in these
three cases will have a very positive effect on the morale of
the IP in Salah ad Din Province.
7. (SBU) COMMENT: PRT is keeping a close watch on the outcome
of proceedings at the MCC. PRT remains concerned about the
insurgency's ability to influence proceedings at the MCC by
threatening the safety of local judges and their families.
8. (U) For additional reporting from PRT Tikrit, Salah ad
Din, please see our SIPRNET reporting blog: