Background

Saddam Hussein was the president of Iraq for 24 years before the U.S. invasion in 2003. It is claimed that Hussein would use toxic gas on his citizens, as well as publicly executing people, and having kurdish people killed. The reason that the U.S. had invaded Iraq was because they believed that Saddam had building weapons of mass destruction. He was put on trial with charges of war crime, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The trial was seen as a “Kangaroo court,” meaning that it disregards recognized standards of law or justice, and carries little or no official standing in the territory. It was deemed as “unfair,” and that it “marks a significant step away from the rule of law in Iraq.” He was executed by hanging in 2006.

Key Legal Issues

Saddam Hussein’s trial was fundamentally unfair. There were many factors that contributed to this. Bias against Saddam Hussein was evident in his trial, as many acts took place which ensured that he received the death penalty. There was political interference in the trial, as well as the presiding judges being changed. Assassinations of Saddam’s lawyers occurred as well. Likewise, there was a report that claimed that evidence had been failed to be to disclosed properly. Although Hussein had very likely committed atrocious acts, he was still not given a proper trial.

Case

Saddam Hussein was tried by the Iraqi Special Tribunal, along with the seven co-defendants Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Taha Yassin Ramadan, Awad Hamed al-Bandar, Abdullah Kadeem Rowed Al-Muskeihi, Mizher Abdullah Roweed Al-Musheikhi, Ali Daeem Ali, Mohammed Azawi Ali, all of whom where charged with crimes against humanity, and pleaded not guilty. As well as his crime against humanity charge, Saddam Hussein was also charged with war crime, and genocide. Political interference was evident in this case as the chief judge was changed by the prime minister, as the previous one was accused of being too soft towards Hussein. Several of the defendants’ lawyers were assassinated, and there was claimed to be evidence that had failed to be disclosed properly. Three of the defendants received 15 years in prison, while one was acquitted. Ultimately, Saddam Hussein was found guilty and received the death penalty, along with three of his co-defendants. Hussein was executed on December 30, 2006 by hanging.