Iraq's PM complains about slow pace of Saddam trial | india | Hindustan Times
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Iraq's PM complains about slow pace of Saddam trial

Ibrahim al-Jaafari said the proceedings should respect the feelings of Iraqis whose relatives died during the ousted president's rule.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2005 09:25 IST

Iraq's prime minister complained about the pace of Saddam Hussein's trial, saying the proceedings should respect the feelings of Iraqis whose relatives died during the ousted president's rule.

"There is hardly a family in Iraq that does not include victims," Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari told a group of Arab and Western reporters invited to lunch at his home in the heavily guarded Green Zone.

"We must be sensitive to their feelings," al-Jaafari added. "The trial must be strict, serious and swift and set a time for its conclusion. We are not writing a thesis about Saddam."

Still, al-Jaafari, a devout Shi'ite, said Iraqis should be proud of how the trial is proceeding.

"It's sending a message to the entire world that human rights are respected in Iraq even when it comes to the man who violated them most," he said.

Five of al-Jaafari's close relatives were executed during Saddam's rule, and the prime minister himself fled the country for Iran and later Britain, returning only after the US-led coalition toppled the former regime in 2003.

Saddam and seven co-defendants went on trial on October 19, but only five hearings have been held, all of them marked by boisterous outbursts by the former president, who has lectured the judges and berated witnesses.

The trial has been adjourned until December 21 following this week's national parliamentary elections.