Bremer and experts discuss Saddam trial
* OIC hails signing of Iraqi constitution
* 1 US soldier killed in Baquba
* 7 injured in Mosul attack
* New US acoustic weapon reaching Iraq
BAGHDAD: Iraq’s civilian administrator, Paul Bremer on Tuesday met with a US team of legal experts to discuss plans to prosecute Saddam Hussein and other members of his toppled regime, his spokesman said.
Bremer updated the experts on what he thinks a special Iraqi tribunal set up to rule on war crimes might need to judge the former dictator and up to 200 other former officials, said the spokesman, Dan Senor. The team of four lawyers from the US Justice Department are the first wave of experts despatched by Washington to help Iraqi prosecutors sift through the mountains of evidence against Saddam’s police state.
“The Iraqis will actually have the lead role, this will be their trial,” he said. Shia lawmakers said on Tuesday they want a quick end to the US-led occupation of Iraq even if it means enduring a flawed interim constitution, while a bomb killed a US soldier and grenades wounded seven Iraqis.
After signing the temporary constitution on Monday, Iraq’s US-picked Governing Council must now decide who will run the country from July and establish a system for democratic elections by year’s end, said Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). The head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on Tuesday hailed the agreement on an interim constitution in Iraq, voicing hope it will lead to the election of an independent government.
Monday’s signing of the document by the 25-member US-named Governing Council “is an important step on the road of enacting a permanent constitution with a view to building a new Iraq and safeguarding its territorial integrity,” said Secretary General Abdelwahed Belkeziz in a statement issued at OIC headquarters in Jeddah.
Rebels killed a freshly-arrived US soldier on Tuesday in a bomb attack north of Baghdad and wounded seven people in a grenade attack on a municipal building in the violence-riven town of Mosul.
A roadside bomb claimed the life of a soldier from the 1st Infantry Division (1ID) and wounded a colleague travelling in a vehicle convoy near Baquba, 50 kilometres north of Baghdad, a US military official said.
Insurgents threw a grenade at a government office in the northern Iraqi city Mosul, injuring seven people in an attack apparently aimed at US soldiers inside the building, police and witnesses said.
The US military is about to add a new exotic weapon to its already impressive arsenal in Iraq. But in contrast to other armaments, this one does not shoot or explode. It screams and hollers. —Agencies