- Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal
The Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (formerly Iraqi Special Tribunal [cite web | url = http://www.ictj.org/static/MENA/Iraq/iraq.statute.engtrans.pdf | title = Law of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal | publisher = Official Gazette of the Republic of Iraq | date = 2005-10-18 | accessdate = 2008-08-13 | quote = Article 37, The Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal for Crimes Against Humanity, Law No. 1 of 2003, and the Rules of Procedure issued under Article 16 thereof shall be abolished with effect from the date of the coming into force of this Law] ) is a body established under
Iraqi national law to try Iraqi nationals or residents accused of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimesor other serious crimes committed between 1968 and 2003. It organized the trial of Saddam Husseinand other members of his Baath Partyregime.
The Court was set up by a specific Statute issued under the
Coalition Provisional Authorityand now reaffirmed under the jurisdiction of the Iraqi Interim Government. The Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) promulgated by the Iraq Governing Council before the restoration of Iraqi sovereignty preserves and continues the Iraq Special Tribunal Statute in force and effect.
The Court is responsible for the trial of Saddam Hussein,
Ali Hassan al-Majid(also known as "Chemical Ali"), former Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan, former deputy Prime Minister Tariq Azizand other former senior officials in the deposed Ba'athist regime.
The Tribunal follows the
inquisitorial systemwhich is standard in Iraq and uses investigative judges. Trials are heard before a panel of the five Trial Judges, who conduct hearings, pronounce judgements and impose the sentences, without using a jury. There is also a separate Appeals Chamber, with nine judges, a prosecutions department and an administrative department. The statute of the court allows for international judges to be appointed on the request of the court and approval of the Council of Ministers, but none have yet been appointed.Judges were initially appointed to a five-year term by the Iraqi Governing Council, in consultation with the Iraqi Judicial Council.
For security reasons, the names of the judges were not initially released, but five judges' identities have since been disclosed:
Rizgar Mohammed Aminwas presiding judge of the Trial Chamber until January 23, 2006when he quit citing government interference [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4618148.stm]
Rauf Rashid Abd al-Rahman, the presiding judge of the Trial Chamber from January 23, 2006.
Said Hameesh, the deputy presiding judge, who was removed from the Tribunal after the De-baathification Commissionfound that he was a former member of the Baath Party[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4625470.stm] which made him ineligible to be a judge.
Raed al-Juhi, the tribunal's Chief Investigative Judge
Barwize Mohammed Mahmoud al-Merani, an investigative judge who was fatally shot on March 2, 2006[http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/03/02/iraq.judge/]
The tribunal has jurisdiction over any Iraqi national or resident accused of the following crimes:
Crimes against humanity
* Manipulating the
* Squandering national resources
* The use of armed force against an
Arabcountry [http://www.cpa-iraq.org/human_rights/Statute.htm] [http://www.ictj.org/static/MENA/Iraq/iraq.statute.engtrans.pdf]
These crimes must have been committed:
* After the coup by
Ahmed Hassan al-Bakron July 17, 1968
May 1, 2003which was after the invasion of Iraq that brought an end to the rule of Saddam Hussein.
Rights of the accused
The rights of the accused are set out in the Tribunal's statute and include the presumption of innocence, equality before the tribunal, a
public trialwithout undue delay, appointing counsel of your own chosing, calling witnesses and the right to remain silent.
The tribunal must impose sentences in line with existing Iraqi law, which includes the
death penalty. For crimes such as crimes against humanity which have no counterpart in Iraqi law, the statute says the trial chamber should take into consideration the gravity of the offense and sentences issued by international criminal tribunals.
From October 2005 till November 5, 2006, the tribunal had been trying eight people who were accused of crimes against humanity in a massacre of 148 Shiites in
Dujail. The defendants included:
Saddam Hussein, former President of Iraq(1937-2006)
Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Hussein's half-brother and former chief of intelligence (1951-2007)
Taha Yassin Ramadan, former Vice-President (1938-2007)
Awad Hamed al-BandarAl-S'adun, a former chief judge (1945-2007)
At Saddam Hussein's initial arraignment he was also accused of:
*the killing of religious figures in 1974;
Halabja poison gas attack;
*the killing of
Kurds in 1983;
*killing members of political parties;
*displacing Kurds in the mid 1980s;
*suppressing Kurdish and Shiite uprisings in 1991; and
invasion of Kuwait.
On November 5th, 2006, Saddam Hussein was found guilty of all charges relating to the Dujail massacre and was sentenced to death by hanging. He received an automatic appeal. However, the appeal was rejected and the guilty sentence was upheld. It was ordered that he be executed within 30 days and he was executed by hanging on December 30, 2006.
The Special Tribunal investigated the crimes of
Al-Anfalin 1988 and during the 1991 uprising. The judges issued arrest warrants against these persons for crimes against Kurds in 1988:
Taher Tawfiq Al-ani
Hussein Rasheed MohammedThe judges also issued arrest warrants against these persons for crimes in 1991:
Barzan Abdul Ghafoor
Muzahim Sa`ab Al-Hassan
In 2005 June the judges had investigated crimes in 1990, ethnic crimes in the city of
Kirkuk, and crimes against FailiKurds, questioning these accused:
Aead Futaih Khaleefafor the 1990 events and crimes in Kirkuk;
Muhsen Khedher Abassfor the 1990 events;
watban Ebraheem Al-Hassanfor exiling and killing Ufaili Kurds.
Mohammed Zemam Abd Al-Razaqfor ethnic cleansing in Karkok;
Barzan Ebraheem Al-Hassanfor exiling and killing Ufaili Kurds;
Lateef Nusaif Jassimfor ethnic cleansing in Kirkuk. [http://www.iraqispecialtribunal.org/en/press/releases/0020ae.htm]
In late June the judges had investigated
Tariq Azizconcerning the events of 1991.
The judges also questioned these persons concerning the use of chemical weapons in the
Saber Abd Al-Aziz Aldori
Sultan Hashim Ahmed
Ali Hassan al-Majid[http://www.iraqispecialtribunal.org/en/press/releases/0020be.htm]
The judges questioned these persons on various events:
Awad Hamed al-Bandarabout religious oppression and crimes in Balad, Iraq;
Abd Al-Ghany Abd Al- Ghafoorabout religious oppression and crimes in Balad, Iraq;
Mahmood Faizi Al-Hazaaabout the Jomaa crime in Al-Emara city in 1999;
Hashim Hassan Al-Majeed;
Hassan Azeba Al-Ubaidi. [http://www.iraqispecialtribunal.org/en/press/releases/0020ce.htm]
June 24, 2007, Ali Hassan al-Majid, Sultan Hashim Ahmed al-Tay, and Hussein Rashid Mohammed were sentenced to hang for their role in the Al-Anfal Campaignagainst the Kurds. Two other former regime officials, Saber Abd Al-Aziz Aldori and Farhan Mutlaq Saleh were sentenced to life in prison. All charges against former governor of Mosul Taher Tawfiq Al-ani were dropped because of insufficient evidence. [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19394865/]
The tribunal was initially led by
Salem Chalabia former exile and relative of Ahmed Chalabi. Critics pointed to Salem's lack of experience and close ties to Iraqi dissidents, questioning US motives in his appointment. However, as his uncle Ahmed Chalabi fell from US favour in August 2004, warrants were issed for their arrest while they were both out of Iraq. Some saw this as an attempt to remove them from Iraqi politics. On September 19 2004the New York Timesquoted Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawias saying that he had received Salem's resignation. [http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/19/international/middleeast/19saddam.html] Speculation immediately started on who would replace Salem; names mentioned include Taleb al-Zubaidiand Naim al-Oukaili. On October 4 2004, the Iraqi National Councilapproved the nomination of Judge Ammar al-Bakri, who became the new Administrator of the Special Tribunal - but was ousted in turn. The nine Appellate Judges have selected an eminent Iraqi jurist as President, who is the Tribunal's leader. Tribunal procedures are governed by the Rules of Procedure and Evidence and the Iraqi Criminal Procedural Code of 1971.
Many international human-rights law groups have opposed the Tribunal (pro-American voices have said this is because they felt excluded from the process of its creation), they had wished to see international (non-Iraqi) lawyers empaneled on the Tribunal, and they also object to the availability of the death penalty under Iraqi law. Fact|date=February 2007
Other legal groups and the UN have protested that Saddam Hussein should have been arraigned before a UN court, similar to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania. Many have said that Saddam should have appeared before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. Fact|date=February 2007 Some have criticized the United States for playing too great a role in the foundation, financing, and operation of the Tribunal. [http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/iraq501/defining_victors.html]
The normal principle of international law, however, has been to rely first on the domestic national court capability of a country before turning to the extraordinary creation of international tribunals. Some Iraqis as well view the Tribunal as a matter of pride and sovereignty with the view that they can govern and judge themselves. Fact|date=February 2007 International legal experts argued for Saddam to be tried outside the country as it was believed that he would not receive a fair trial under inexperienced judges who had been long standing enemies of him and his regime. Following the re-introduction of
capital punishmentin May 2005, the Iraqi interim PM Iyad Allawi gave assurances that he would not interfere with the trial and would accept any court decisions, although some of his comments are open to mis-interpretation: "As for the execution, that is for the court to decide — so long as a decision is reached impartially and fairly." [http://www.abcnews.go.com/wire/World/ap20040706_164.html]
According to British journalist
Robert Fisk, the judge, Ra’id Juhi, had indicted Moqtada al-Sadrof murder in April 2004, an important event in the growing Iraqi insurgency. After working as a translator, Juhi was appointed by Paul Bremer. Juhi, 33, is a Shia Muslim and had served for a decade as a judge under Saddam Hussein. [http://www.counterpunch.org/fisk07022004.html]
Although officials had asked for the judge's name to be kept secret, allegedly to protect him from retribution [http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/world/9063483.htm?1c] , it was widely reported in the Arabic press, including newspapers in Baghdad. The only Western newspaper to refuse this kind of self-censorship was the British "
The Independent" and was criticised by Tony Blair's government as a result. Ra'id Juhi had also given interviews and posed for pictures in the context of the Moqtada al-Sadr indictment. Juhi was appointed Tribunal spokesperson in late 2005, even though he continues his duties as Chief Investigative Judge. Fact|date=February 2007
Other legal issues
The Iraqi Special Tribunal also contains an official English translation of the Iraqi Criminal and Civil Code, which
Paul Bremerdecreed would be the operating legal code of Iraq until it is changed or modified by the Iraqi government.
One emerging, critical issue to the mission of the Iraqi High Tribunal is that of women's human rights. Women occupy a uniquely vulnerable position in conflict, and the Iraqi High Tribunal is charged with prosecuting gender-based crimes within the Hussein regime. Historically, rape has proven a prolific problem in conflict, and in many Mid-East countries, including Iraq, such phenomena as honor crimes (the killing of rape victims by male family members in order to restore honor to the family name) inhibited gender justice. The Judges of the Iraqi High Tribunal have taken a pioneering interest in gender justice, requesting a training in fall of 2006 on international law tenets that protect women's human rights. [cite web|url=http://www.globaljusticecenter.net/media/iraq%20report.pdf |title=Iraq Report |accessdate=2007-05-21 |date=2007-03-05 |publisher=
Global Justice Center] Attorney Janet Benshoof of the [http://www.globaljusticecenter.net Global Justice Center] was among the legal authorities stressing the importance of upholding women's rights in future Iraqi High Tribunal decisions. The Judges proved very interested in protecting women's human rights in their future decisions, and have requested an amicus (friend of the court) brief from concerned attorneys and women's civil society organizations regarding future gender jurisprudence.
* 2003 Invasion of Iraq
* [http://www.cpa-iraq.org/human_rights/Statute.htm Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal December 2004]
* [http://www.iraq-iht.org Official website of the Iraqi Special Tribunal]
*http://law.case.edu/saddamtrial Grotian Moment Webblog
* [http://www.ictj.org/static/MENA/Iraq/iraq.statute.engtrans.pdf Statute of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal October 2005]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
United States and the International Criminal Court — Positions in the United States concerning the International Criminal Court (ICC) vary widely. The current U.S. administration does not intend to join the ICC, which was established in 2002 as a permanent criminal court to investigate and… … Wikipedia
Iraq War — This article is about the war that began in 2003. For other uses, see Iraq War (disambiguation). Further information: 2003 invasion of Iraq and Post invasion Iraq … Wikipedia
November 2006 — was the eleventh month of that year. It began on a Wednesday and 30 days later, ended on a Thursday. Current events of 1 November 2006 (2006 11 01) (Wednesday) … Wikipedia
March 2009 — was the third month of that year. It began on a Sunday and ended after 31 days on a Tuesday. International holidays (See Holidays and observances, on sidebar at right, below) Portal:Current events This is an archived version of Wikipedia s… … Wikipedia
December 2008 — was the 12th month of the leap year. It began on a Monday and ended after 31 days on a Wednesday. International holidays December 8 – Immaculate Conception. December 8 – Eid al Adha. December 21 – Hanukkah begins at sundown. December 21 –… … Wikipedia
Rauf Rashid Abd al-Rahman — ( ar. رؤوف رشيد عبد الرحمن) was the replacement chief judge of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal s Al Dujail trial of Saddam Hussein in 2006.Rahman is an ethnic Kurd from Halabja, the site of the 1988 Halabja poison gas attack. He replaced… … Wikipedia
November 2008 — was the 11th month of the leap year. It began on a Saturday and ended 30 days later on a Sunday. Portal:Current Events This is an archived version of Wikipedia s Current events Portal from November 2008 … Wikipedia
Russian-Chechen Friendship Society — (RCFS) is a non governmental organization that monitors situation with human rights in Chechnya and other parts of the North Caucasus. RFCFS produces daily press releases on serious human rights violations. The Society has its main office in… … Wikipedia
October 2008 — was the tenth month of the leap year. It began on a Wednesday and ended after 31 days on a Friday. International holidays and other major events October 2 – Gandhi Jayanthi India October 13 – Columbus Day (observed) in many U.S. states.… … Wikipedia
Law, Crime, and Law Enforcement — ▪ 2006 Introduction Trials of former heads of state, U.S. Supreme Court rulings on eminent domain and the death penalty, and high profile cases against former executives of large corporations were leading legal and criminal issues in 2005.… … Universalium