Skip to comments.Tariq Aziz refuses to testify against Saddam: lawyer
Posted on 12/24/2004 6:44:25 AM PST by WmShirerAdmirer
Former Iraqi deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz is unwilling to testify against Saddam Hussein at a future war crimes trial, his lawyer told Agence France-Presse after a four-hour meeting with his client on Thursday at a US base near the capital.
"Tariq Aziz told me that he will not take the witness stand against Saddam," said Badi Aref Izzat.
The lawyer said that Aziz, who has been in US custody since his surrender in the immediate aftermath of last year's US-led invasion, had had no opportunity to see the ousted president.
The 11 senior aides currently in custody were being held together and were able to see each other for three hours a day but Saddam himself was being held separately, Izzat said.
Iraqi officials have said that Saddam is being held in Camp Cropper, a US base at Baghdad airport, but Izzat said he did not know exactly where the others were being detained as he had been taken there in a US armoured personnel carrier.
Aziz, an English-speaking Christian and former foreign minister who was the ousted regime's best known spokesman to the outside world, remained "in good health and spirits" despite his 20-month detention, the lawyer said.
In October there were a flurry of rumours that Saddam's faithful aide, who was born in 1936, had died in custody, although they were later comprehensively denied.
On July 1, Aziz was formally charged alongside his captive colleagues by the Iraq Special Tribunal established by the US-led coalition to try senior members of the former regime.
He was charged with two counts of mass murder, allegedly committed in 1979 and 1991, and punishable by death if he is found guilty.
Izzat said Aziz insists on his innocence and wants to call longtime information minister Mohammed Said al-Sahhaf and military intelligence chief Saber Abdel Aziz al-Duri as defence witnesses.
"Any accusation of my involvement in this affair is baseless," the lawyer quoted him as saying.
Aziz insists he could not have had any part in the suppression of Kurds immediately after the 1991 Gulf war, as alleged by the prosecution, as he was still foreign minister at the time and divided his time between Baghdad and Arab capitals.
....Hmmmmm.....sounds like Islamic-U.N. privilege....NO REAL JUSTICE AFTER ALL......
?......Islamic Honorable Sharia Law = 'WMD'.....?
....So is this fear or arrogance in Tariq-Aziz?...
Perhaps it is neither. I would choose the term loyalty. Aziz has little to gain by providing direct testimony against Saddam, especially when the fact is leaked. Certain benefits may accrue to his relatives, including life. It is reasonable to think that his relatives may be spared if he doesn't testify.
Having said that, he may have and probably did secure favorable treatment for his family by providing his captors with other factual assistance in secret.
This is a case of having it both ways and achieving limited objectives by playing both side.
There are plenty of others to provide the devistating testimony to do Saddam in.
you mean the iraqi interim government is afraid of prosecuting these guys? the cleanup over there needs to start someplace, right now the iraqi military forces don't seem to be able to even get a shot off against the insurgency - maybe they could practice by shooting a stationary target, Chemical Ali tied to a post.
There is no possibility of making progress with potential Iraqi collaborators until Saddam is killed.
The Iraqis aren't going to do it.
can we at this point, or has the time passed for us as the occupying power, to merit out justice and punishment like this?
You stole the very words from my mouth. Hang him in front of the largest Saddam palace in Bagdad. Leave him out for a week just to make a point that others who choose to follow suit know what their fate will be.
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