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.