Powell says Saddam should be assumed innocent as Tehran states ''crimes'' against Iranians should not be ignored
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Friday former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein should be assumed to be innocent in his trial.
“The people of the world should watch carefully, listen carefully,” Powell said in his first comments on the judicial process against Saddam and 11 former aides that started on Thursday in Baghdad.
“Assume he’s innocent if you will, and let’s assume that, and let the Iraqi people through their courts decide,” Powell said in an interview with Indonesian television channel RCTI on the sidelines of an Asian security meeting in Jakarta.
“You will see a new kind of justice in Iraq and I hope the people of the world and all Indonesians will measure it that way,” he said.
Meanwhile, describing the war between the Americans and Saddam as "the war of Gladiators", the former Iranian president, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said the Americans outrageously censored Saddam's first trial.
"Saddam's trial must be completely public. It is necessary to let Saddam express himself, that the Americans express themselves, that we ourselves can express ourselves and that people say what they have to say," Rafsanjani told Friday prayers.
He added “This is not the trial of a criminal. Saddam's extraordinary crimes must be exposed but from the first words pronounced by Saddam, the Americans imposed censorship and broadcast only what they wanted. Iran was ignored in the seven charges against Saddam. Are not the thousands of Iranian chemically wounded veterans part of his crimes?”
"I ask the Iraqi judge why Saddam's crimes against Iran have not been raised," said Rafsanjani, adding that 100,000 Iranian fighters suffered from Iraqi chemical weapons.
"If the Iraqi court refuses to include (Saddam's responsibility) in the unleashing of the war against Iran, it means it is on an order from the Americans.
"Why does the war against Kuwait, which only lasted several months, figure among the major charges while the war against Iran which lasted eight years has been omitted?" he asked. (albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)