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Home >> World
UPDATED: 07:53, July 28, 2005
Saddam's coming trial rouses mixed feelings among Iraqis
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The coming trial of Saddam Hussein has roused mixed feelings among Iraqis in the violence-plagued country.

The trial date of the former Iraqi president, who has remained in custody since being captured in December 2003, is expected to be announced by Iraq's special tribunal within the coming two days and the court is likely to start the trial next month, said chief investigating judge Raed Jouhi on Monday.

Some Iraqis hope Saddam can be taken to the court as soon as possible, but many believe any sentence of the former ruler, even the death penalty, would not relieve violence in the country.

"Saddam should be tried immediately because that will elevate the morale of Iraqis who are exhausted by wars and conflicts and in my opinion, the best punishment for him is execution," said Afrah Maan, a Baghdadi.

"His trial should be fair in front of the people," he added.

Rowed Rasheed, a Kurd, agreed with him on a quick sentence on Saddam, saying "it is about time to try Saddam for his crimes against humanity."

"But I do not think that the timing of the trial will have a big effect on the deteriorating situation in the country," he quickly added.

"He should be executed thousands of times for his crimes against the Iraqi people, but execution is mercy for people like him, so keep him as he is," said Mohammed Al Sawi, a school teacher in Baghdad.

The newly formed Shiite-dominated Iraqi government hopes Saddam's trial will help defuse an insurgency partly led by his loyalists.

But many Iraqis facing daily suicide attacks and gruesome killings hold a bleak picture of their future life even after Saddam is put to trial.

"I don't think the trial of Saddam will change anything," said Mohammed Ismael al-Hamdani, owner of an electric appliances shop in Baghdad.

"It is only an anesthetic used by the US forces and the Iraqi government to appease some Iraqis who suffered injustices under the reign of Saddam," he added.

"The most important issue is that the security situation is deteriorating day by day. What has the occupation forces given the Iraqis except the daily killings and destruction? We now prefer the era of Saddam to that of the occupation," he concluded.

US forces and Iraqi officials had hoped the capture of Saddam in a dingy hole in late 2003 would head off the insurgency. But violence has risen steadily.

A recent survey revealed that in the first year after the US-led invasion in March 2003, around 6,000 Iraqi civilians were killed, but the figure nearly doubled in the second year.

In the latest bloodshed, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to a Baghdad hospital on Wednesday evening, killing at least five people and wounding 10 others.

The Iraqi special tribunal laid the first charges to Saddam earlier this month. The toppled Iraqi president along with three of his aides was charged with the killings of about 140 Shiite Muslims in the village of Dujail in 1982 following a failed assassination attempt.

The case is widely seen as less grave to accusations of genocide and war crimes that have also been targeted at Saddam, but the tribunal said it is relatively easier to prove Saddam guilty in this smaller case.

Investigators expect a swift sentence on Saddam which is possibly the death penalty.

Currently, the tribunal is investigating in at least 12 cases against Saddam and his aides which include the killing of thousands of Kurds in the 1987-88 campaign to drive Kurds from the northern Iraq and the crushing of the Shiite revolt in the south after the 1991 Gulf War.

Source: Xinhua

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