Some comments from the BBC “Head to Head” debate:
As a Kurd I know full well what Saddam did to the people of Iraq, he killed and destroyed regardless of creed, religion and ethnicity. Every tyrant and every oppressor deserve the full wrath of justice. However, in my opinion Saddam should stay alive and be kept in a rat hole similar to the one he was captured and let him witness the people he enslaved for 30 years prosper and live peacefully side by side. This the way to repay a barbarian as death would be a blessing for him!
Kaz Bahjat, UK
As a new democratic nation, death sentences should be banned. If Saddam is going to be tried, then he should be tried for all the crimes he is accused for. If they try to execute him immediately, then this is a message to the world that there is a cover up as there may be some serious revelations during the trial. Death sentences are something of the past and guilty people should be put behind bars to let them suffer for their guilt.
Everyone really wants this guy dead, not for the sake of “justice” etc, but just so they can be sure that he doesn’t write a book and point the finger at everyone who helped set him up in the first place. The blood on Saddam’s hands is also on the US, British and many other Western governments who sponsored his regime since its inception in the late 1960’s.
As a prominent barrister, I am of the opinion that the very essence of this case is that Saddam Hussein is the lawful ruler of Iraq, having been deposed by a war which was itself in breach of international law. As such, he continues to enjoy sovereign immunity. The court is therefore both illegal and acting ultra vires. Saddam accordingly cannot be convicted let alone executed. Indeed, he is entitled to restitutio in integrum of his office as President, sine die.
Crispin Fritillary QC, Middle Temple, London
OK, I made the last one up.