After protest, Clark speaks during Saddam trial
"BAGHDAD, Iraq - The court in the Saddam Hussein trial allowed former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and another foreign defense lawyer to address the session Monday, reversing a ruling that had the defense to walk out.
After a 90-minute recess, Chief Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin allowed Clark and ex-Qatari Justice Minister Najib al-Nueimi to speak on the questions of the legitimacy of the tribunal and safety of the lawyers.
“Reconciliation is essential,” Clark told the court. “This trial can divide or heal. Unless it is seen as absolutely fair, and fair in fact, it will divide rather than reconcile Iraq.”
At that point the judge reminded Clark that he was to speak only about the security guarantees for the defense lawyers — two of whom have been assassinated since the trial began Oct. 19.
Clark then said all parties were entitled to protection and the measures offered to protect the defense and their families were “absurd.” Clark said that without such protection, the judicial system would collapse.
Al-Nueimi then spoke about the legitimacy issue.
Saddam shouts slogans
Earlier, as the lawyers walked out of the courtroom, Saddam, dressed in his usual tieless white shirt and dark suit, also stood up and declared that the court was appointed by U.S. occupiers:
“This law is ‘Made in America’. Long live Iraq, long live the Arab state,” he shouted as he waved his right hand.
Behind him in the dock, his half-brother and co-defendant Barzan al-Tikriti joined the chorus: “Long live Saddam,” he cried. “Why don’t you just execute us and get this over with?”
Now THAT'S the best idea I've heard so far!
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