World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


ndependent probe into Saddam trial murder needed

UN rights expert calls for independent probe into Saddam trial lawyers’ murder

A United Nations human rights expert today has called on the Iraqi Government to launch an independent investigation into the recent assassination of two lawyers involved in the trial of Saddam Hussein, saying he was concerned at allegations that the Interior Ministry might have been involved.

“An independent investigation is essential because these killings have huge implications for efforts to establish the rule of law in Iraq,” the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions of the UN Commission on Human Rights, Philip Alston, said.

He said the information he has received provides no clear evidence of the Ministry's involvement but also no grounds for excluding that possibility.

“When allegations call into question the impartiality of the Government, and when so much hinges on the facts, an independent investigation is the only way to uphold the rule of law,” he added. “This is clearly a situation in which a failure to undertake a convincing investigation will have major negative implications for all that the Government is trying to achieve.”

Sadoum al-Janabi and Adel Muhammad al-Zubaidi represented defendants at the Iraqi Supreme Criminal Tribunal charged with crimes against humanity. Mr. Al-Janabi was found with two bullet wounds to the head after being abducted from his office by armed men on 20 October, the day after the trial began. Mr. Al-Zubaidi was killed on 8 November in a drive-by shooting that also injured another defence lawyer, Thamer al-Khuzaie.

“When defence lawyers are murdered, the rule of law is doubly at stake,” Mr. Alston said he said. “Human rights law requires that all murders be investigated in a credible manner. Moreover, defence attorneys are critical to a fair trial, and their systematic assassination threatens the entire process.”

Special Rapporteurs are unpaid experts serving in an independent personal capacity who receive their mandate from the UN Commission on Human Rights and report back to it.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results
Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

WHO: Vaccination No Guarantee Of Virus Eradication

In the final World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 press conference of the year, on Monday, senior officials warned that the virus is 'not necessarily the big one', and that there is a real chance of another, more serious pandemic spreading ... More>>

Covid: Two Billion COVID Vaccine Doses Secured, WHO Says End Of Pandemic Is In Sight

The end of the pandemic is in sight but we must not let our guard down, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, as he welcomed the news that the global vaccine partnership COVAX has lined up almost two billion doses of existing ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>

UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>

UN News: Fighting Displaces Over 500,000 In Northern Mozambique, Reports UN Refuge Agency

Attacks by armed groups in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Niassa provinces have displaced more than 530,000 people, many of whom have been forced to move multiple times, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday. According to ... More>>