The coming trial of Saddam Hussein has aroused mixed feelings among Iraqis in the violence-torn 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 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 Baghdad resident Afrah Maan.
"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 Baghdad schoolteacher.
The newly formed Sh'ite-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, a Baghdad shopkeeper.
"It is only an anaesthetic 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.
Source: China Daily