They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Saddam Hussein - Not Allowed to Represent Himself at Trial

newsday/latimes: Iraqi legislators have changed the rules for the forthcoming trial of Saddam Hussein, preventing the deposed president from representing himself, according to documents provided to the Los Angeles Times.

Under the original rules for the trial, adopted in December 2003 when U.S. officials were running the country, Hussein was permitted "to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing."

But under revised rules, adopted without fanfare by the transitional Iraqi National Assembly on Aug. 11, Hussein only has the right "to procure legal counsel of his choosing." The same change applies to other defendants whose special trials, along with Hussein's, are scheduled to begin in mid-October.

..The new rules may alleviate the widespread concern among Iraqi and U.S. officials that Hussein could have used his right of self-representation to grandstand and spout political propaganda.

..The decision to deny Hussein the right to self-defense, a right codified in international law, is one of several ways the Iraqi trial will differ from the growing body of protocols in international criminal tribunals.

For example, the International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and a similar court for the crimes committed in Rwanda were seated outside the two countries to prevent the trials from causing further political unrest or being influenced by local politics. Those tribunals, along with the Special Court for Sierra Leone, which is located in that country, rely on international human rights law and judges from other countries.

With support and encouragement from the Bush administration, which has provided dozens of American lawyers and forensic experts to assist the prosecution, Iraqi authorities rejected proposals to try Hussein abroad, or in Iraq by a court made up in part of international jurists.Read more

db: The ability to 'grandstand' or 'spout political propaganda' seems like a fair exchange for anybodies life. I mean, he is not going to be found innocent is he? No doubt the gallows have already been built - so why take the 'show' out of 'show trial'? What are they afraid of, really?