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Iraqis Delay Announcement Of New Security Laws

5 July 2004 -- Iraqi officials canceled a planned news conference today, delaying once again an announcement on what measures they will take to eliminate the curb insurgency in the country.

The news conference with Justice Minister Malik Dohan and Human Rights Minister Bakhtiyar Amin was postponed indefinitely.

They were expected to announce a limited amnesty for insurgents and the imposition of martial law in some parts of the country.

In London, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said the interim Iraqi government was entitled to make such decisions. Standing besides Straw at a news conference, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer agreed that Iraq's sovereign government has to make those "difficult and sensitive judgments."

Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said today that it is up to the Special Tribunal hearing the case against former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to decide whether Saddam and his aides should face capital punishment for their crimes.