Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Saddam's Judge Is Longtime Kurdish Lawyer

"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Silver-haired and seemingly patient, the judge presiding over Saddam Hussein's trial is a longtime Kurdish lawyer and judge who has worked under both Saddam's regime and under his own people's self-rule.

Rizgar Mohammed Amin, 47, the top judge of a five-judge tribunal overseeing the Saddam case, is from the town of Sulaimaniyah, about 160 miles north of Baghdad. He was asked about a year ago by Kurdish government officials to participate in the Iraqi Special Tribunal, local officials said.

It was unclear if Amin's Kurdish background played any role in his selection as presiding judge. But it is sure to hold symbolic power, because Kurds and Shiites were the two main groups that Saddam oppressed. The case Amin will oversee concerns Shiite victims of a 1982 massacre."


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