Sunday, May 06, 2012


Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashimiwas supposed to be tried in absentia with the trial kicking off last Thursday.  Instead it's been postponed to this Thursday.  It may be postponed again.  Asawat al-Iraq notes that al-Hashemi expects that he would receive the death penalty.  Of course he would.  Not only did State of Law MPs rush around last week telling various Iraqi news outlets that al-Hashemi would get the death penalty, the allegedly independent Baghdad 'judiciary' held a press conference February 16th announcing Tareq al-Hashemi was guilty of terrorism.  The trial hadn't started.

The trial still hasn't started.

In what world is a fair trial a possibility after the judges involved declare you a terrorist, declare you guilty of acts of terrorism, state that you are responsible for threats against their lives and more?

The Baghdad judiciary should not be allowed to hear this case.  It's not just that they have arrived at a guilty verdict before the trial.  That's bad enough.  That's appalling.  It's not just that plus the fact that they clearly are not impartial -- judges are expected to be impartial.

They shouldn't be allowed to hear the case because they should all be disbarred.  There's not much a judiciary has to do.  But among the most important things they have to do is follow a country's constitution.  The Iraqi Constitution's Article 19, Fifth Clause reads: "The accused is innocent until proven guilty in a fair legal trial. The accused may not be tried on the same crime fora second time after acquittal unless new evidence is produced."

If the accused is innocent until proven guilty in a fair legal trial then that February 16th press conferences the Baghdad judges held was unconstitutional and should lead to them being disbarred.  If judges are not bound by the supreme law of the land, don't count on them to honor any ethics codes which doesn't even carry the weight of law.

There are many other issues including the torturing to death of at least one of al-Hashemi's bodyguards.  The kidnapping by security forces of his office staff.  Many, many other issues.

Chief among them, Tareq al-Hashemi remains a vice president.  As such, he's guaranteed certain barriers from prosecution.  Those barriers fall apart when his term is over -- either because his term expires or because the Parliament votes him out of office. 

Unless and until that's done, by the law, Tareq al-Hashemi can't be tried for anything.

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name

Last Sunday, the number of US military people killed in the Iraq War since the start of the illegal war was 4488. Tonight? PDF format warning, DoD lists the the number of Americans killed serving in Iraq at 4488.

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