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UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS INDEPENDENT EXPERT REITERATES CONCERNS ABOUT SADDAM HUSSEIN TRIAL AND DEATH SENTENCE


28 December 2006

The Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Mr. Leandro Despouy, issued the following statement today:

Following the recent dismissal of the appeal by Mr. Saddam Hussein Al-Tikriti against the judgment and sentence of the Iraqi High Tribunal, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers deems it necessary to reiterate his concerns expressed earlier.

The decision of the Appeals Chamber of the Iraqi High Tribunal apparently does not address the grave shortcomings of the trial, which involved several co-defendants. The Special Rapporteur’s concerns were identified in his press statements of 22 June 2006 and of 6 November 2006.

The shortcomings of the trial, as stated by the expert, are related to the lack of observance of international human rights standards and principles, in particular the right to be tried by an independent and impartial tribunal and the right to adequate defence, as stipulated inter alia in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The Special Rapporteur urges the Iraqi Government not to carry out the death sentence imposed upon Mr. Saddam Hussein and his co-defendants following what appears to have been a procedurally flawed legal process.


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