Death to Shiites was fair: Witnesses in Saddam trial | india | Hindustan Times
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Death to Shiites was fair: Witnesses in Saddam trial

Defence witnesses argued that a court that sentenced 148 Shiites to death during a 1980s crackdown was just.

india Updated: May 29, 2006 21:15 IST

Defence witnesses in the trial of Saddam Hussein argued on Monday that a court that sentenced 148 Shiites to death during a 1980s crackdown was just and gave them a proper defence.

Saddam and seven former members of his regime are on trial on charges of crimes against humanity for killings, torture and the imprisonment of families during the crackdown launched after a 1982 assassination attempt against former Iraqi ruler in the Shiite town of Dujail.

The defence brought a string of witnesses testifying on behalf of Awad al-Bandar, head of the revolutionary Court who sentenced the 148 Shiites to death for alleged involvement in the assassination attempt.

"Mr Al-Bandar took the humanitarian aspect into consideration, and he was fair and made all judgment according to law," said the first witness, a lawyer who worked at the court.

The prosecution in the Saddam trial has argued that the trial of the 148 was effectively a show trial, giving them no chance to defend themselves, and has presented documents showing that children were among those sentenced to death.

Al-Bandar has insisted the trial was fair and that all the defendants confessed to a role in the attack on Saddam. But he has acknowledged that there was only one defence lawyer for all 148 and that the trial only lasted 16 days.

But the three witnesses for al-Bandar on Monday all acknowledged they had no connection to the Dujail trial, and the chief judge in the Saddam trial, Raouf Abdel-Rahman, chided al-Bandar.