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Let Saddam face ICC for Trial

Newsday, Trinidad and Tobago
December 16, 2003

Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein should be tried before the International Criminal Court, former President of Trinidad and Tobago Arthur NR Robinson said yesterday.

In a release, Robinson warned against the US or "the countries of the occupying forces" conducting any trial of Saddam, which he suggested would be "another "Nuremburg type trial" (in which German war prisoners were tried by the victorious allies following the surrender of Germany in the Second World War.) Saying that the capture of Hussein by the US rather than his execution in Iraq provided a great opportunity for justice, Robinson stated that a fair trial in an independent judicial process would provide the opportunity for Saddam's accusers to make their accusations supported by evidence and for Saddam to provide his defence in a manner free from fear, open and subject to scrutiny.

"This cannot be another Nuremburg type trial. Requirements of a free and independent judicial process have moved far beyond Nuremburg. Those trials, necessary in the peculiar circumstances at the time, are now regarded as contrary to fundamental principles of time," Robinson stated. He added that the requirements of justice and peace in Iraq and in the world, demanded a court that was truly independent, permanent, not ad hoc, that is constituted by existing law and internationally acceptable rules. Saying that the process (of such a court) must be widely acceptable from the investigatory and prosecutorial stages to trial and even appeal, Robinson said the process must be open to scrutiny and objection at every stage and decisions must be impartial and sustainable. "Fortunately for mankind, such a court exists in the International Criminal Court...This opportunity to promote justice, unity and peace on the widest scale in the world must not now be missed," Robinson said.

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