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Malcom Lagauche


Coward Abdel-Rahman at trial of Saddam Hussein

March 11, 2007

The headlines on Al-Jazeera’s website on March 9, 2007 were unexpected and powerful: "Saddam Judge Flees Iraq." Raouf Abdel-Rhaman, the judge who sentenced Saddam Hussein, as well as Barzan al-Tikriti and Awad al-Bandar, to death, has left Iraq and has applied for political asylum in Great Britain. Before I get to the absurdity of this cowardly act, let’s look at the trial over which Abdel-Rahman presided.

The first trial of Saddam was for signing death warrants of 148 people in Dujail.. They had a three-year comprehensive trial and were found guilty of treason and attempted assassination. At the time, the Iran-Iraq War was raging and those who tried to kill Saddam were Iraqis fighting on the side of Iran. Many fled Iraq and stayed in Iran until the aftermath of the illegal March 2003 invasion of Iraq by the U.S.

The trial began with a judge, Rizgar Amin, who appeared to be fair. He gave both sides chances to plead their cases. However, within a few weeks, he resigned. He was disgusted and asserted that the stooge Iraqi government had given him orders how to run the trial and told him he was allowing Saddam too much leeway. He decided not to take orders from the quislings and run a scripted trial.

His successor, Abdel-Rahman made it clear from day number one that he would be the person to orchestrate a show trial in which the verdict was a foregone conclusion. He kicked the defendants out of court. He kicked their lawyers out of court. Sometimes, he held court proceedings with neither the defendants nor their lawyers in the court room.

Something happened that could have upset his and the stooges’ plans, even though the outcome was not in doubt. On May 30, 2006, a witness appeared who could have blown the whistle on the entire prosecution case. But, a quick-witted Abdel-Rahman went into action.

In December 2005, Ali al-Haidari appeared in court for the prosecution. He said there was no assassination attempt in 1982 against Saddam.

On May 30, 2006, a defense witness said he had proof that al-Haidari was lying. In addition, he accused the head prosecutor, Jaafar al-Musawi of traveling to Dujail and trying to bribe people to come forward to testify against Saddam. Al-Musawi quickly protested the accusation and said he had never been to Dujail in his life.

Al-Rahman chastised the witness and asked what proof he had. He then produced a videotape that showed al-Haidari giving a speech in which he praised the "heroes" who tried to assassinate Saddam. Don’t forget, al-Haidari had said, under oath, that there had been no assassination attempt.

To make matters worse, the tape then showed al-Musawi (who said he had never been in Dujail) attending the celebration in which al-Haidari spoke in 2004.

Al-Rahman was not about to let the truth get in the way of a kangaroo court. He said that the person in the videotape was not prosecutor al-Musawi, but someone who just happened to look exactly like him and who had the same voice.

The tape was confiscated by the court. Then, the witness, along with three other defense witnesses, one who stated the names and addresses of 23 of those listed as put to death by the Iraqi government in 1985, who were still alive, were arrested.

The only news reported after their arrest was that one witness escaped and went to Jordan, where he spoke to the press and said he and his comrades were violently tortured. Neither he nor anyone else has spoken of the fate of the other three witnesses. Despite attempts at finding out the circumstances of the witnesses, the court refused to comment when asked by the press.

Al-Rahman was easily infuriated. Barzan al-Tikriti, who has since been hanged, would mention the judge’s Kurdish background. When he complained to al-Tikriti about mentioning his ethnicity, the former Iraqi Intelligence minister said, "I have no complex against the Kurds, some of my best friends are Kurds." Abdel-Rahman exploded and shouted, "Stop referring to me as a Kurd," and he ordered al-Tikriti out of the courtroom.

Bushra al-Khalil, Saddam’s female Lebanese lawyer once was physically dragged out of the court room by four thugs. What was her crime? She asked the judge if she could make a statement.

Abdel-Rahman only allowed a few defense witnesses, while the prosecution presented as many as they desired. The prosecution took days in its summation of the case. When the defense began, Abdel-Rahman halted the closing remarks and said that if they had not proved their case by now, there was no merit in allowing them closing statements.

When the appeals court turned down the request of Saddam’s defense team about the death verdict, Abdel-Rhaman had to set an execution date within 30 days of the appeal verdict. Saddam was hanged within four days, on the date of the beginning of a Moslem holiday.

Abdel-Rhaman relished his image as a no-nonsense, tough judge. His actions made up for the years of Ba’athist rule in Iraq. He wanted to be revered in the same manner as a Hollywood star.

The truth differs, however. He stood against everything a judge is supposed to represent: to find the truth. He lied and he was a fraud. He was brave while he was protected by the U.S. Army in the Green Zone and while he was in court with numerous bodyguards and his opponents were in chains.

Once the hangings were conducted, it appears that Abdel-Rahman must have lost some of his protection. He fled to Great Britain.

Saddam Hussein had numerous offers to "cleanse" himself. While incarcerated, if he made a public appearance on Iraqi television and asked the resistance to cease its attacks, he would now be living on some island in the Pacific, replete with a mansion and more money than he could ever use. He refused.

Abdel-Rahman, who was perceived to be the tough man who ordered Saddam’s death, is just the opposite. He is a coward.

There is one aspect to this whole unlikely scenario that confuses me, but I have yet to read where anyone else has picked up on the quandary. Abdel-Rahman is asking for "political asylum" in Great Britain. Political asylum is usually requested by citizens of countries in which they are not allowed political, social or religious rights that other citizens enjoy. Abdel-Rahman is a product of the quisling Iraqi government. He was right in the middle of all the shenanigans and violence the stooges have thrust on Iraq. Why is he asking for "political asylum" when he was a mainstream player in current Iraqi politics?

We all know the real reason for his craven exit from Iraq. There are many Iraqis who were offended by Saddam Hussein’s show trial and hanging and some were probably picking up the stench of Abdel-Rahman’s scent. Even the U.S. and the Iraqi quislings would have been unable to give him enough security to ensure he would still be alive at retirement age.

:: Article nr. 31271 sent on 11-mar-2007 04:53 ECT


Link: www.malcomlagauche.com/id1.html

:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

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