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Saddam should be tried by international tribunal.



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Senator Lyn Allison Australian Democrats Acting Leader

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15 December 2003 MEDIA RELEASE 03/891

Saddam should be tried by international tribunal

The Australian Democrats have today welcomed the capture of Saddam Hussein and are calling for the former dictator to be tried by an international war crimes tribunal in Iraq.

Democrats’ Acting Leader, Senator Lyn Allison, said “While it is extremely important the Iraqi people are able to fully participate in Saddam’s trial, Iraq has no experience in prosecuting war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity on this scale.

“The tribunal set-up by the Iraqi Governing Council is not fully established and lacks key protocols. It’s clear Iraq is not yet well enough equipped to deal with a trial of this magnitude without some international assistance.

“An international war crimes tribunal, held in Iraq, would enable the full participation of the Iraqi people and mean international judges who have experience in trying war crimes and crimes against humanity could oversee the process.”

Senator Allison said, “Saddam Hussein’s capture is a step forward in the post-war reconstruction of Iraq, but there is still a long way to go.

“A high priority must still be ensuring that the people of Iraq have access to food, water and shelter. We must continue building democratic structures so that the governance of Iraq can be transferred to the Iraqi people as soon as possible,” Senator Allison concluded.

Contact: Vara Szajkowski 0408 056 167

www.democrats.org.au