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

 

Calls For International Court To Re-Try Saddam

Iraq: UN Rights Expert Calls For International Court To Re-Try Saddam

New York, Nov 7 2006 11:00AM

Citing the “doubtful legitimacy and credibility” of the Iraqi court that sentenced Saddam Hussein and other former leaders to hang, a United Nations human rights expert has called for an international tribunal to re-try the ousted president and urged the authorities not to carry `out the death sentences imposed.

“It is clear that the verdict and its possible application will contribute to deepen the armed violence and the political and religious polarization in Iraq, bringing with it the almost certain risk that the crisis will spread to the entire region,” Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Leandro Despouy said in a statement yesterday.

He hailed the Government’s determination to punish the main authors of the atrocities committed during three decades and its will to see the trial take place in Iraq, but stressed that the court was established during an occupation considered by many as illegal, is composed of judges selected during this occupation, including non Iraqi-citizens, and has been mainly financed by the United States.

He also cited the lack of observance of a legal framework conforming to international human rights standards, in particular the right to be tried by an independent and impartial tribunal which upholds the right to a defence; the negative impact of the violence and the insecurity during the trial, including the killing of a judge, five candidate judges, three defence lawyers and an employee; and outdated legislation allowing the death penalty.

It is “essential that this will be expressed through a trial conducted by an independent tribunal, legitimately established, acting in absolute transparency and providing all guarantees for a fair trial, in accordance with international human rights standards,” he said.

“If those conditions are not fulfilled, the verdict of the Iraqi High Tribunal, far from contributing to the institutional credibility of Iraq and the rule of law, risks being seen as the expression of the verdict of the winners over the losers,” he added in the statement, which followed a call from UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour for a moratorium on executions.

Since the present verdict is subject to appeal, it opens the possibility to consider setting up “an independent, impartial and international tribunal with all the necessary guarantees to enable it to receive the support of the United Nations, and which will take advantage of the rich experience acquired by other international tribunals, Mr. Despouy said.

“This should be done with urgency, to attenuate the negative impact this verdict already started to produce in Iraq and the proliferation of violence in the region.”

Carrying out the sentences would represent a serious legal setback for the country and would be in open contradiction to the growing international tendency to abolish the death penalty, he added.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

APEC : Leaders Issue Kuala Lumpur Declaration

The leaders of the 21 APEC member economies issued the Kuala Lumpur Declaration following the first-ever virtual 27th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Convening for the first time since the ... More>>

UN: Refugee Resettlement Numbers Fall To Lowest In Two Decades

Refugee resettlement numbers will be at a “record low” this year, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Wednesday, with only 15,425 people resettled in the first nine months of 2020, compared to more than 50,000 in 2019. In 2016, resettlement ... More>>

G20: Global Co-Operation And Strong Policy Action Needed For A Sustainable Recovery

The COVID-19 crisis has exposed major weaknesses in our economies that can only be fixed through greater global co-operation and strong, targeted policy action, according to a new OECD report presented to the Leaders of the G20 countries at their ... More>>

OECD: GDP Rebounded By 9.0% In The Third Quarter Of 2020 But Remains Below Pre-Pandemic High

Following the unprecedented falls in real gross domestic product (GDP) in the first half of the year in the wake of COVID-19 containment measures, GDP in the OECD area rebounded by 9.0% in the third quarter of 2020 but it remains 4.3% below its pre-crisis ... More>>