Show Trial or Real Trial? A Digest of the Evidence Submitted During the Prosecution's Case-in-Chief at the Dujail Trial of the Iraqi High Tribunal
SADDAM ON TRIAL: UNDERSTANDING THE DEBATING THE IRAQI HIGH TRIBUNAL, Michael P. Scharf and Gregory S. McNeal, eds., Carolina Academic Press, 2006
11 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2008
During the trial of Saddam Hussein evidence was largely ignored by media coverage. The media's focus on controversial judicial rulings, assassinations of defense counsel, resignation of judges, scathing outbursts, allegations of mistreatment, hunger strikes, and even underwear appearances ignored the fact that the Prosecution meticulously built a compelling case against Saddam and his seven co-defendants.
This essay provides a detailed précis of the evidence submitted during the Prosecution's case-in-chief. It includes an analysis of the testimony of the three-dozen witnesses, the surprising admissions of defendants Saddam Hussein and Barzan al-Tikriti, and the numerous Exhibits that have been admitted into evidence.
The material is divided into four categories: The first is evidence of control, knowledge and intent. This category includes testimony and documents proving that Saddam and the other defendants are legally responsible for the atrocities done to the town and people of Dujail because they issued orders or in the alternative because they were in control of the perpetrators and had knowledge of their crimes.
The second category is evidence that the attack on Dujail rose to the level of armed conflict, which is a prerequisite for finding that the actions of the defendants were war crimes.
The third category is evidence that the actions taken against the town and people of Dujail constituted a widespread and systematic attack against a civilian population which is necessary to prove the actions of the defendants were crimes against humanity.
The final and by far most extensive category is the evidence of the prohibited acts perpetrated by those under the Defendants' command and control; acts such as the destruction of Dujail's orchards, homes, and wells; and the arrest, torture, and execution of innocent civilians including young children. Taken together, this evidence demonstrates that the attack on Dujail was not a legitimate effort to route out terrorists responsible for an assassination attempt, but rather an act of retaliation and retribution against persons who were in no way involved in the attack on Saddam's convoy.
Keywords: Saddam Hussein, Iraq, Iraqi High Tribunal, evidence, testimony, control, knowledge, intent, command responsibility, armed conflict, war crimes, widespread attack, systematic attack, prohibited acts, execution, international humanitarian law
JEL Classification: K1, K10, K14, N4, N40, K3, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation