17 October 2005 -- A senior United Nations judge has added his voice to criticism that the trial of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein will not fulfill the necessary standards of fairness.
Wolfgang Schomburg, who sits on UN tribunals trying war crimes in former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, said the Iraqi special court set up to try Hussein has features of "victors' justice."
Schomburg argued that an international court should have been created, as happened with cases of atrocities in Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone.
Schomburg said that fair proceedings are barely possible in Iraq's atmosphere of violence and inte-ethnic tension.
He noted that Hussein had not been indicted at all for the most serious offenses of which he is suspected, but only for crimes that were minor by comparison.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch yesterday expressed doubt that Hussein's trial, which is scheduled to begin on 19 October, would be fair.
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