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Iraqi PM laments delay in bringing Saddam to justice

[JURIST] Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] complained to reporters Monday about the delay in bringing Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] to trial, but denied trying to encourage the Iraqi Special Tribunal JURIST [official website; news archive] to speed up its processes. Al-Jaafari said, "Any more delay will bring Iraq, the judiciary and the government into question. It's the right of every Iraqi citizen to ask why it took so long to prepare the Dujail case." This is not the first time al-Jaafari has pressed for the trial to get under way. In June, al-Jaafari expressed exasperation with tribunal judges [JURIST report], saying they had wasted time in their investigations. Hussein's trial for the 1982 Dujail massacre [JURIST report] begins Wednesday in Iraq's war crimes tribunal, now known as the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal; the court's name has been changed from the Iraqi Special Tribunal to avoid confusion with special security tribunals used to repress opposition during Hussein's regime. Officials decided to try the Dujail case first because it was less complex and required less investigation and fewer witnesses than some of the other possible charges against Hussein. Al-Jaafari also stated he was "not interfering in the court's business" or "trying to put pressure on the court or influence it." AP has more.

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