A senior Iraqi official told reporters in Kuwait Tuesday the United States that
has promised it will hand over Saddam Hussein to Iraqi authorities to stand trial
for alleged war crimes. According to the head of Iraq's war crimes tribunal,
Salem Chalabi, U.S. officials will hand over former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein
before Iraq assumes sovereignty from the United States June 30th.
|Former Iraqi President
Mr. Chalabi, speaking in Kuwait where he is collecting evidence against the
former dictator, said Saddam and about 100 former Iraqi regime officials, including
former foreign minister Tariq Aziz, will be transferred to Iraqi control and
will be subjected to the war crimes tribunal beginning early next year.
He said those found guilty could face execution.
According to the head of military studies at the al-Ahram Center for Political
and Strategic Studies in Cairo, Mohammad Kadry said that there will be intense
Arab interest when Saddam Hussein faces his accusers.
"It will be very important," he said. "This is the first ruler, the first
president in the area to be even judged. I mean I don't remember a case like
that in the Arab world, but he should be subjected to a good court and it should
be transparent for everybody."
The former Egyptian army general said he thinks if Saddam Hussein is found
to have committed war crimes, the overwhelming majority of Arabs would favor
a death sentence.
The Iraqi dictator was taken into custody by U.S. authorities last December
after he was located hiding in a hole near his hometown of Tikrit. He has since
been held at a secret prison in Iraq.