June 30, 2004

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* The limits of sovereignty.

"Despite the end of the US occupation on Monday, US prosecutors said the Court would continue unchanged after the handover.

"It was created by Mr Bremer last June to hear 'significant security trials' and enable occupation troops to testify without leaving the Green Zone. Saddam Hussein is among the detainees intended to enter its dock.

"Many Iraqis see the Central Criminal Court as a creature of the occupation which must be abolished now the US has handed sovereignty back to Iraqis.

Faisal Estrabadi, an Iraqi lawyer, said yesterday after the refusal to release Mr Kanum: 'If the Iraqi courts have acquitted an individual he must be released. Anything else is a violation of sovereignty.'

"'Iraq cannot be one large Guantánamo Bay.'

"He added: 'The Geneva Conventions no longer apply as of 10.26 this morning. Under UN Resolution the occupation has ended and the laws of war no longer apply.'
"Under laws introduced by the coalition, possessing illegal weapons carries a minimum sentence of 30 years and maximum of life imprisonment, but Iraqi judges routinely sentenced detainees to only six months, they said. 'We have the feeling they're not putting their heart into it,' said Mr Frank.

"The court also sparked recent controversy after it was used to issue arrest warrants for rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, and 15 members of Ahmed Chalabi's Iraq National Congress, on charges including fraud and kidnapping. Last week the court issued an arrest warrant for another member of the Governing Council, Karim Mohammedawi, after he expressed support for Mr Sadr."

* The fans are alright: Dick Cheney visited Yankee Stadium last night. excerpt:

"During the singing of 'God Bless America' in the seventh inning, an image of Cheney was shown on the scoreboard. It was greeted with booing, so the Yankees quickly removed the image."

* Deserter: The story of George W. Bush
after he quit the Texas Air National Guard
. [via wood s lot]


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