Anorak

Anorak | To Tell The Truth

To Tell The Truth

by | 1st, July 2004

‘HEARING Saddam Hussein’s first public address in six months reminds us of the opening sequence to TV’s To Tell The Truth.

It’s going to (death) penalties

Saddam comes into the room, mimes shooting dead a member of the Iraqi political elite and declares: “I am Saddam Hussein al-Majid, President of the Republic of Iraq.”

A panel comprised of an unnamed Iraqi judge, the chief prosecutor Salem Chalabi and coalition officials then has to decide if Saddam is telling the truth (clue: he’s not), make him aware of this rights and decide what to do with him.

One person who may have an idea of what happens to Saddam next is another man who says he is President of Iraq, one Ghazi al-Yawa.

The Guardian hears Iraqi President No.2 say that the new Iraqi regime will restore capital punishment.

“We promise the Iraqi people and the world that Saddam will receive a fair hearing,” he says.

“The death penalty is going to be available to the court. We are now an independent sovereign country again and we need to reimpose the penalty.”

Little wonder then that ”Chemical” Ali Hasan al-Majid, who is alleged to have ordered gas attacks on Kurds, is said by Chalabi to have visibly shaking with fear as he and ten other Hussein aides were transferred to Iraqi legal custody by the Americans.

But such is the way with these things that Hussein, now aged 67, will most likely die of natural causes by the time his 20-strong defence team have picked through the case against him.

One senior American official may well not be bluffing when he says in the Times that prosecutors have found some “very significant documents” relating to the machinations of the Hussein regime.

But when they’ve had to look though 30 million bits of paper to get a few incriminating sheets, Hussein’s lawyers need only to demand they see what the prosecution has seen for this trial to go on for years.

And then there are 11 more defendants to put on trial – the likes of Tariq Aziz (“I am Deputy Prime Minister of the Revolutionary Command Council”) and Barazan Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti (“I am Saddam’s half-brother and head of the secret police”).

But not – yet – comical Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf (“I am George Bush and, boy, did we ever whoop those Iraqi’s be-hinds?”).

All the judge and his panel need do now is discover who is telling the truth and who is lying.

And for us to remind them that they are playing for very high stakes…’



Posted: 1st, July 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink