Tags: Iraqi | Official: | Saddam | Will | Executed

Iraqi Official: Saddam Will Be Executed

Saturday, 25 September 2004 12:00 AM

Several members of the Allawi delegation speaking on background, told NewsMax that pressure on the Allawi government to "move" on the Saddam issue has been growing, especially from Shiite religious quarters.

While no firm date has yet been set for the upcoming trial, Allawi insists such a proceeding will start before the end of the year.

The Iraqi proclamations contradict statements from unnamed U.S. sources in Baghdad who claim such a trial might take as "much as another year" to convene.

The U.S. sources say that instability inside Iraq and Saddam's failure to hire a legal defense team, make a trial in the near future "unlikely."

Allawi's representatives disagree.

The former Iraqi president remains under heavy U.S. guard in a secret location outside Baghdad since his capture near his hometown of Tikrit last December.

During an arraignment on July 1, Saddam told the presiding judge his overthrow and subsequent capture by Coalition forces was illegal and as such, any prospective trial would have no legal standing.

Ironically, none other than U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan recently told the BBC the U.S.-U.K. invasion of Iraq in 2003 was (in his opinion) "illegal."

Annan also confessed to the Mexican news agency, Notimex, that he did not feel any safer now than before the attacks of 9/11, despite the Coalition efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In addition to Saddam, Coalition forces also have former Iraqi deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz and vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadan in custody.

The Iraqi diplomats in NYC explain that the "future" of the other former government officials "has not yet been decided." Aziz is likely to escape any serious punishment, however a more ominous fate may await Ramadan and others now in jail.

"Aziz is an old man...he did not know much about the crimes committed by Saddam," explained one official.

Published reports claim that Aziz, in Coalition custody for more than a year, has been trying "to cut a deal," so far without success.

Saddam's fate, according to Iraqi sources, seems to be tied with the growing influence of Shiite leader Grand Ayotollah Ali Husseini al Sistani.

Members of the Allawi entourage say the number and extent of atrocities against Iraq's Shiite community by Saddam, has left the interim government with little room to maneuver.

While firm numbers are not available, U.N. sources estimate that as many as 200,000 Shiites may have been massacred under Saddam's rule.

Hussein and his ruling circles, were Islamic Sunnis, a minority within Iraq, who went to extravagant measures to check Shiite influence.

Neighboring Iran is governed by Shiites.

Iran's late "spiritual" leader Ayotollah Khomeini, often referred to the Iraqi president as an "infidel" who should be executed.

Iran and Iraq engaged in a vicious cross-border war for more than 10 years. United Nations officials confirm that Saddam and his military resorted to the use of banned chemical weapons during the conflict. Over 500,000 people are believed to have been killed during the war, say U.N. officials.

Now, more than 20 years later, Ayotollah Khomeini may finally get his wish. While Iraqi officials express no uncertainty on Saddam's future, there is one wild card, Washington.It is unclear where the White House stands on the issue. Iraqi diplomats say so far, the Bush administration has kept a hands-off attitude.

But Saddam, known for his legendary skills as a survivor, might have a card up his sleeve. His old intelligence network is still intact, admits another Iraqi official. Washington needs better intelligence to combat the growing insurgency it now faces in the country.

Could Saddam and the U.S. cut a deal?

"I hope not," confided the Iraqi source..."but who knows?"

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Several members of the Allawi delegation speaking on background, told NewsMax that pressure on the Allawi government to "move" on the Saddam issue has been growing, especially from Shiite religious quarters. While no firm date has yet been set for the upcoming...
Iraqi,Official:,Saddam,Will,Executed
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2004-00-25
Saturday, 25 September 2004 12:00 AM
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