London, Asharq Al Awsat – Asharq Al Awsat spoke to Judge Raed Juhi, chief investigative judge of the Supreme Iraqi Tribunal, Saturday 4 November, one day before the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was found guilty of crimes against humanity and was sentenced to death by hanging.
Judge Juhi told Asharq Al Awsat during a telephone conversation from his office in Baghdad that “the authority of the criminal court ends as soon as it issues its verdict. As for carrying out the verdict, this is not the responsibility of the court. There is an executive authority that is entitled with implementing the verdict.”
Judge Juhi stated that “Within the judicial system, we do not expect surprises. There is a clear case that is bcked by clear evidence, witnesses and documents that prove that people have been murdered. In such a case, a criminal must be punished accordingly. There is no chance of acquittal for the convict.”
The chief judge emphasized that “the trial of defendant Saddam Hussein will be resumed in any case. He will be referred to the second tribunal for investigating the crimes of Anfal.”
Asked whether age would play a part in the verdict of Saddam Hussein or any other defendant, Juhi said “The Iraqi law is clear in this regard. Concerning this ruling, without referring specifically to Saddam Hussein, Iraqi law does not practice the death penalty against minors and those who deserve the death penalty who committed a crime under the age of 20. In any other case, the death penalty applies to anyone regardless of their age.”
With reference to the request made by the deposed Iraqi president to be executed by firing squad if he is given the death penalty based on the pretext that he is a soldier, Juhi said, “We are talking about the implementation of the death penalty regardless of the culprit. Criminal law states that the death penalty is carried out by hanging whether the convict is a civilian or a soldier.”