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Panelists Say Fairness and Competence At Issue in Hussein Trial 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

WILL SADAAM HUSSEIN’S TRIAL be viewed as independent and fair throughout the world?

Kim Scheppele, the John J. O’Brien Professor of Comparative Law, has her doubts. She said a major concern is that the United States, which will provide 50 advisors to the Iraqi tribunal, will be seen as “pulling the strings behind the scenes.”

“U.S. involvement will raise questions about the impartiality of the tribunal,” added Scheppele, who made her observations during a reunion-weekend panel discussion on Hussein’s trial. The annual “Classes Without Quizzes” also featured Evan Kohlmann L’04, an international terrorism consultant; Jonathan Fredman, special counsel for counterterrorism at the Central Intelligence Agency and lecturer in law at Penn; and Paul H. Robinson, a criminal law expert who is the Colin S. Diver Distinguished Professor of Law at Penn Law School.

Kohlmann presented what he considers ample justification to convict Hussein. Under his rule, he said:

• Between 50,000 and 100,000 Kurds were killed during a chemical weapons campaign in the late 1980s, as estimated by Human Rights Watch; • Another 30,000 to 60,000 Kurds and Shiites were slaughtered to quell their rebellion in 1991;

• Chemical weapons were also used during the Iran-Iraq War to kill approximately 5,000 Iranians – a violation of the 1925 Chemical Weapons Treaty signed by Iraq;

• More than a thousand Kuwaiti POWs were murdered during the Gulf War, which also produced environmental crimes such as the destruction of Kuwaiti oil wells.

 
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