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Saddam should not face death penalty: Annan
December 16, 2003 09:33 IST
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has said captured Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein should not face the death penalty at his trial, which he said must meet international standards.
"This should be done through open trials in properly established courts of law which will respect basic international norms and standards, including respect for international humanitarian law," Annan said.
"The UN does not support the death penalty and all the courts we've set up have not included the death penalty. So as secretary general and the UN as an organisation are not going to now turn around and support the death penalty."
Iraq's US-appointed Governing Council last week adopted a measure to set up a special tribunal to try members of Saddam's former regime for war crimes, and some members said Saddam could face the death penalty.
The United Nations has established a tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, where former Belgrade leader Slobodan Milosevic is now being tried, and another to handle the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
It has also set up a permanent war crimes tribunal, which is strongly opposed by the United States.
Annan said that a UN role in any future trial of Saddam was 'not on the table for the moment'.