Their View: Iraqi people deserve a quick resolution
The legal wrangling in the International Criminal Court over the trial of Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic resulted in a trial that lasted for years and never came to a conclusion - Milosevic died before the judges had a chance to determine his guilt.
A similar comedy of errors is taking place in Baghdad at the second trial of Saddam Hussein. His first trial, on charges of murdering Shiites in the village of Dujail in 1982, went at a snail's pace, interrupted frequently by outbursts from Saddam and his co-defendants. The second trial - for the killing and gassing of 50,000 Kurds - is now being held up because the judge has been dismissed by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
The judge, Abdullah al-Amiri, told Saddam in the middle of the proceedings that he was not a dictator. Saddam replied, “Thank you.” The judge's comments outraged parliament, and he was relieved of his judicial duties.
Human Rights Watch and other groups have taken exception to al-Amiri's dismissal, saying it undermines the credibility of the trial and could influence future judges. That is hogwash.
Judges are not supposed to tell defendants their opinions of them in the middle of a trial. It indicates bias. And judicial misconduct.
The real losers in all of this are the Iraqi people who were hoping for a quick resolution to the litany of charges against Saddam and for justice.
- Chicago Sun-Times