London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Judge Raid Juhi, head of the investigations committee at the Iraqi Higher Criminal Court, has a given a two-month time limit for the trial of former President Saddam Hussein. He also confirmed that no legal decision has yet been made regarding the resignation of Judge Rizgar Muhammad Amin, who is known as Saddam’s judge, adding that Amin can resume presiding over the court sessions as of 24 January; otherwise, Judge Sa’id al-Hammashi would be legally considered president of the court although the Debathification Committee has asked him not to practice his profession as a judge.
Judge Juhi expressed hope that the trial of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and seven of his aides in Al-Dujayl case would be concluded within two months at the most. In statements to Asharq al-Awsat made over the phone from his office in Baghdad yesterday, Judge Juhi said: “The date for the next court session has not changed and Judge Al-Hammashi will preside over the court session unless Judge Amin retracts his resignation, another more senior judge is appointed to complete the court quorum of five judges, or if a the judges hold a vote among them to choose a new court president.
Meanwhile, the Shiite Unified Iraqi Coalition has rejected holding the Arab league-sponsored national accord conference before a new government is formed. President Jalal Talabani has urged the Arab Sunnis to overcome what he described as their frustration over last month’s elections and to negotiate for positions in the new government which is expected to be announced in a few weeks.
In a statement issued yesterday, the coalition announced its absolute rejection of holding the national accord conference, which was agreed upon following efforts made by the Arab League and which resulted in a preliminary meeting held in Cairo last November, unless a new government is formed in accordance with the election results.