Another Sham Trial In Iraq

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

Oh please.  The New York Times says that a trial date has been set for “the Iraqi Shoe-Thrower” for February 19.  But this trial is unlikely to resemble anything you’d call fair.  Let us parse the news together:

Lawyers for the journalist, Muntader al-Zaidi, 29, had tried to reduce the charges stemming from the incident, which made him a folk hero in much of the Arab world and beyond, but in setting a trial date a higher court let the most serious charges stand. If convicted, he could face as many as 15 years in prison….snip

Security guards quickly subdued him, as he continued to shout about the fate of widows and orphans, and he has remained in detention ever since. His relatives and lawyers say he has been tortured in custody, and complain that they have been allowed minimal opportunities to see him or to discuss his case.

The incident occurred on December 14, so Mr. al-Zaidi has been incarcerated now for almost 2 months without reasonable access to counsel.  And he’s been tortured.  That sounds like a fair trial in the making to me. Not.

The Times ends its brief article with this remarkable zinger:

His trial could become an important – and highly visible – test of Iraq’s still-evolving judicial system. It was not clear how much of his trial, if any, will be open to the public.

“Still-evolving” has to be one of the most remarkable euphemisms of all time.  “Still-evolving” in this case means that the accused can be tortured, kept away from family and counsel for almost two months, tried in secret, and then sentenced up to 15 years.  I wouldn’t exactly call that “still-evolving.”   Or justice. Truth be told, we should call it what it is, a sham.  

7 comments

Skip to comment form

    • davidseth on February 8, 2009 at 7:12 pm
      Author

    cheers and throw flowers.

    Thanks for reading.

  1. “Still-evolving” in this case means that the accused can be tortured, kept away from family and counsel for almost two months, tried in secret, and then sentenced up to 15 years.  I wouldn’t exactly call that “still-evolving.”

    No, that’s a mature legal system!  Like the US.

  2. Be lenient with shoe-thrower, says Chinese premier

    Wen Jiabao responds to apology from Cambridge student

    By Tania Branigan, guardian.co.uk

    The Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, has called on Cambridge University to show leniency to the protester who threw a shoe at him last week, the foreign ministry has said.

    China originally condemned as “despicable” Martin Jahnke’s protest, which took place as Wen addressed students on his three-day tour of the UK.

    But a message from Wen, posted on the website of the Chinese embassy in the UK, read: “Education is the best help for a young student. It is hoped that the university will give the student an opportunity to continue his studies at the university.

    “As a Chinese saying goes, it is more precious than gold for a young person to turn around to redress mistakes. It is hoped that this student will see his mistake and seek to understand a real and developing China.”

  3. henchmen might have a hand in all of this!!

    Iraq’s hero shoe-thrower to face trial

    World War 4 Report, NY –

    10 hours ago

    Muntader al-Zaidi’s lawyers lost an appeal to have the charges against him reduced to a lesser offense of insulting Bush, rather than assaulting him. …

  4. Free al-Zaidi website:

    Free al-Zaidi

Comments have been disabled.