TARIQ AZIZ MAKES A STAND
Aziz, the Christian Ba'athist, shows that he is a man. Having seen President Saddam Hussein murdered; having seen Judge Awwa al Bandar just because he was the trial judge of the Dujail assassins; having seen Barzan al Tikriti murdered by having his throat cut when he was allegedly hanged; it would have been easy for Aziz to try and save his skin by pleading "I wasn't there, I saw nothing, I did nothing, I heard nothing". Instead, with faith in Christ, he has stood by the truth - fully documented in the "Neo-conned" books sold by FC - and said that said was an Iraqi hero and patriot.
Which makes Blair a liar and mass murderer. Let's work and pray that we see Blair swing soon for his war crimes! Dave, Detroit
Aziz praises 'hero' Saddam at Iraq trial AFP Mon Mar 5, BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraqi former deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz on Monday praised Saddam Hussein and denied there had been mass killings under the executed dictator's rule, earning sharp rebukes from the judge at the so-called Anfal genocide trial. "I had the honour to work with the former regime and with the hero Saddam Hussein," Aziz said from the witness stand at the Iraqi High Tribunal, where six leaders of the former regime are accused of genocide against Kurds. "He is the hero behind the unity of Iraq and its sovereignty. This is an honour to me," Aziz added in a statement that belied the reputation he enjoyed in some quarters as a moderate in Saddam's camp.
"Shut up -- don't speak," said the trial's chief judge Mohammed al-Oreibi al-Khalifah, angrily trying to silence the ailing Aziz.
"Why do you prevent me from speaking?" Aziz answered calmly.
"I will take legal measures against you," the judge warned.
Aziz replied: "Why? I am already a prisoner. What would you do to me?"
The judge again ordered him to "shut up."
Aziz, 71, surrendered to US troops in Iraq in April 2003. Since then he has been under lock and key at Camp Cropper, a holding centre near Baghdad international airport.
His family has repeatedly called for his release on health grounds, saying that he suffers from diabetes and respiratory problems. Aziz is suspected of involvement in the execution of dozens of members of the former Baath regime in 1979 and mass killings of Shiites and Kurds in 1991, but his lawyers say he has yet to be charged. On Monday he was brought to the High Tribunal to give evidence against the six defendants in the Anfal trial of Saddam aides charged with involvement in the killing of up to 182,000 Iraqi Kurds in the late 1980s. But Aziz denied there had been any mass killings under Saddam. "I was foreign minister... The government I was part of did not commit genocide against the Kurdish people," he insisted.
His comments again angered the judge. "You are here testifying (on behalf of) the regime, not the accused," the judge said. "No, I am testifying (on behalf of) the accused," Aziz answered.
Saddam was executed last December 30 after being found guilty of crimes against humanity in a previous trial, but the Kurdish genocide trial is continuing with six of his former allies still in the dock.