Saddam to get “fair trial”, Bush says

Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein will get a "fair trial", US President George W Bush has said, claiming that Baghdad is a safe place for the proceedings despite the recent killing of a defense lawyer and the tough security situation there.

"There will be a fair trial, which is something he (Saddam) did not give many of the thousand people he killed," Bush told the Arabian TV channel on Monday.

"The people of Iraq would like to see Saddam Hussein tried for the crimes he committed," he said. Asked if Baghdad was safe enough for Saddam to be tried there, Bush said "I think it is."

"It is safe enough to have an election nationwide, where these killers were saying, we'll kill you if you vote, and a lot of people went and voted.

In other words, it is possible to provide security, but I think the trial needs to go forward."

Asked about the killing of a defense lawyer this week, Bush simply said "Oh, I know. It's just terrible." Bush said that he would not support an international trial because it's important for Iraqis to conduct the trial and demonstrate that they can have a fair judicial system.

Bush declined to evaluate Saddam's performance during the trial, saying it was hard to tell whether the former ruler appears weakened or was still defiant.

He said the security situation was improving. "They just had an election. We can't stop random acts of violence, but the Iraqi security forces are better prepared to defend themselves," reports the Times of India. I.L.

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