Monday, April 18, 2011

Kurds oppose dissolution of court that sentenced Saddam Hussein to death

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Erbil, April 18 (AKnews) - Kurds in the Iraqi parliament are opposing the dissolution of a high tribunal, that tried many officials of the former Iraqi regime, as the Iraqi government's is preparing a bill to end its operation.The trial of Saddam Hussein,Saddam Hussein

The Supreme Criminal Court of Iraq tried and sentenced to death the former dictator Saddam Hussein, his notorious cousin Ali Hasan Majid "Chemical Ali" and several other officials. The court also ruled a chemical attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988 by the Iraqi forces as genocide.

The Council of Ministers has prepared a bill that puts an end to the operation of the court, a move seen by the Kurds as politicized. The bill is yet to be submitted to parliament.

Earlier, a high-ranking judiciary source told AKnews that the government had decided to end the court in June.

"We think that the court must continue." says Moayyed Tayyib, head of the Kurdish Blocs Coalition (KBC) in the Iraqi parliament, "because there are many who have committed crimes against humanity and need to be tried"

The court was set up as an independent body to try former Baath regime leaders and officials accused of committing crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes.

"The continuation or dissolution of this court the related to the judiciary in Iraq, they need to decide about it." the Kurdish MP said, "we believe that the continuation of this court is necessary"

"We find it a legal court whose decisions are very much independent" he said.

"The bill is contradictory to the Iraqi constitution's article 134 which provides for the continuation of the court until it accomplishes its works" said Abdurrahman Zebari, a chief prosecutor in the court for the 1991 uprisings case.

"There are still many cases that the court has not held hearings about" said Zebari calling on the Kurdish MPs in Baghdad to stalls attempts to dissolve the court.

The court is yet to deliver ruling about  the Anfal Campaign which has been recognized by the International Criminal Court in The Hague ad genocide. the Kurds want the court to recognize Anfal as genocide as well.

Anfal or Anfal Operation was a campaign against the Kurdish people of northern Iraq (Kurdistan region) led by the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein and headed by his cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, infamous as "Chemical Ali" after the gas attack on the Kurdish-populated district of Halabja, which claimed the lives of around 5000 Kurds and more than 10000 were injured.

Anfal was  officially conducted between January 22 and September 6, 1988, and according to the unofficial figures, as many as 182,000 people were killed in the campaign.

The mass killings of 1991 uprisings is another case that the Kurds seek to prosecute the former officials accused of being responsible.

After the 1991 gulf war, the Iraqi people rose against the former dictator's regime in an attempt to topple him, however, the Iraqi government clamped down on them in particular the Kurds and the Shias in southern Iraq, subsequently leading to a massive exodus of more than a million Kurds to the Iranian and Turkish borders.

The Iraqi forces killed thousands of the Kurdish people who were fleeing their homes.

Reported by Rebin Hasan, edited by Raber Y. Aziz (AKnews)

Monday, April 18th 2011 1:35 PM