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6/18/04 - JUSTICE FOR SADDAM HUSSEIN - 2004-06-18

The December 2003 capture of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was crucial to the rise of a free Iraq. Saddam Hussein’s capture marked the end of the road for him, and for all who bullied and killed in his name.

In the history of Iraq, a dark and painful era is over. Now, Saddam Hussein will answer for the crimes he committed against the Iraqi people and against Iraq’s neighbors. Some Baathist holdouts and foreign terrorists remain in Iraq. They too will be brought to justice.

President George W. Bush says that when the time is right, Saddam Hussein will be turned over for trial to Iraq’s interim government:

“We’re working to make sure there’s appropriate security. One thing, obviously, is that we don’t want, and I know the Iraqi interim government doesn’t want, is there to be lax security and for Saddam Hussein to somehow not stand trial for the horrendous murders and torture that he inflicted upon the Iraqi people.”

Ghazi al-Yawar, Iraq’s interim president, says that Iraqis “must make sure that the trial goes, as a legal process, [and] he [Saddam Hussein] has his own fair chance of a defense.”

Dan Senor, Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman, says that the coalition priority is to get Saddam Hussein “into Iraqi hands as soon as possible”:

“We expect sometime after June 30th to be able to do that. That is the basis of discussions with the interim government, as [Iraqi] Prime Minister [Iyad] Allawi has recently said. And this is something we’ll work out as to what the appropriate time is after June 30th, once there is a sovereign government here and once the Iraqi special tribunal is ready to receive him.”

And when that happens, Saddam Hussein will face the justice he denied others. The rule of law will prevail.