by Richard Kastelein
Ramsey Clark was violently removed from the courtroom in Baghdad at the Trial. He claims it was a political stunt by the Republican party due to the upcoming midterm elections.
"These unjust sentences issued today by the so-called "the Iraqi High Criminal Court", which is directed by the American occupation, have come to result of a systematic approach of this illegal court that made its conduct, marked with showing disrespect to principles of justice and the basic rules of international and Iraqi laws, which resulted in grave and continued violations to the fundamental rules of criminal proceedings where judges were vested by the occupation from among the enemies of President Saddam and his comrades," stated the press release.
According to the lawyers, the judges continuously revealed they were un-impartial, un-independent and biased against Hussein and the others on trial. The also claimed that foreign powers were clearly involved in the decision.
"The proceedings of the trial revealed also, that the panel chamber, which rendered the conviction, is fully submissive to the will of the occupier and its subordinate government. Thus, the tried persons were deprived from the basic opportunity to defend themselves; defense lawyers were assassinated, threatened, insulted, displaced out of their country and dismissed from the courtroom."
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The group claims that that defense witnesses were hunted down, arrested and
terrorized and defense
attorneys were denied access to the documents and
evidence of the files of the case, while millions of dollars were dedicated to the
Prosecution to prepare the evidence and to call prosecution witnesses. They added that the proceedings of the court turned into
a show to represent the claimants' claims and the persons who were described as prosecution witnesses.
"All of this took place amidst utter lack of security and ceaseless threats and terror against the defense lawyers. "
They also claim the sentences were politically motivated and they were timed to ensure maximum impact in the US midterm elections of 2006.
"It has been evident to all, that the government authorities issued plenty of decisions and statements and adopted measures which show that the government has prior and sure knowledge of the sentences before they were rendered in the courtroom," stated the lawyers.
"This call came before the sentences were announced by the court. This proves the correctness of our repeated confirmation that these sentences (the Court's decision) was pre-made along time ago but it was announced in this strange and abnormal timing, in order to consolidate the electoral campaign of GeorgeW.Bush, while all the indicators show that his party is facing before its constituency. These difficulties are due to the policies of hegemony which as it seems will not have an end until he washes his hands with the blood of the Iraqis in midday light not only by bombarding them with all kinds of weapons and destroying their country and throwing it amid a vicious circle of anarchy, civil war and division, but also by killing their leaders and symbols not for a reason except that they insisted to stand up to face the American boastfulness and arrogance and to defend the liberty, dignity and independence of the nation."
"The Defense Committee for Saddam Hussein et al. has done its utmost to put the trial on the right legal track from the beginning. In this regard, the Defense Committee tried to demonstrate the illegality and illegitimacy of he court according to all internation treaties and conventions and also to the provisions of the Iraqi law itself. The Defense Committee also submitted dozens of legal requests, statements and motions. The court should have halted the proceedings until it considers and decides on each one of these requests separately in order to ensure due process by responding to the arguments. That has not been the case as the requests of the defense were neglected and went unanswered. The court ended to the extent of issuing its sentences without considering the defense' final submissions and without allowing the defense lawyers to make their final oral argumentations as provided for in criminal procedures for all courts in the world. "
"The court crowned its violations to the right to defense by dismissing Mr. Ramsey Clark – the dignified American lawyer and the member of the Defense Committee – out of the courtroom. He was moved out in a rough and insulting way after the presiding judge of the first panel chamber openly offended, abused him and threw Mr.Clark's written submission by moving his hand in a way that contradicts the norms of judiciary and the morals of the judges."The defense also claimed the court was responsible for all the assassinated lawyers who have died since the litigation started.
"The death sentences and the other unjust verdicts of today directly contradicts all the decisions, resolutions and reports of several international bodies, institutions and organizations, especially the decision (opinion) rendered by the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention which concluded that the detention of President Saddam Hussein is arbitrary. This deems the proceedings as null. The same position is echoed by many reports issued by the representative of the U.N. on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers in addition to many other reports and statements which were issued by various international bodies about the void proceedings of the trial and its lacking to all guarantees and requirements of a fair trial."
The release was signed by Khaleel Dolimi, Wadood Fawzi, Ramsey Clark, Zyad Nijdawi , Issam Gazawai , Mohammad Monieb , Ahmad Siddiq , and Javeer Savadera
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