US denies report Saddam moved to Qatar as Council member promises ''fair'' and televised trial
The US Central Command in Doha on Monday afternoon denied earlier reports by the CNN that Saddam Hussein had been moved from Iraq to a US base in Qatar.
"CNN has learned that Saddam Hussein is being held in a US installation in Qatar," the US-based network reported. On his part, the US commander in Iraq, Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez, refused on Monday to comment on Saddam's whereabouts.
Meanwhile, an Iraqi Governing Council member said Saddam could be tried "in the next few weeks" and could be executed if convicted. However, another council member said the televised trial would likely begin later.
The trial will begin "very soon, in the next few weeks," Mouwafak al-Rabii, a Shiite Muslim council member, told The Associated Press.
He said he was sure the United States would hand Saddam over to the new Iraqi special tribunal for crimes against humanity. "I can tell you he is going to be the first," al-Rabii said.
"We will get sovereignty on the 30th of June, and I can tell you, he could be executed on the 1st of July," said al-Rabii, a longtime human rights activist.
He said Saddam would have a fair trial, and that Saddam will have "the right to employ the best lawyers in the world, if he wants."
Another council member, Adnan Pachachi, said he expected the trial to start "sometime in March."
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)