Updates: Saddam Trial, Serbia and the EU, Hijacked Planes
Following up on my earlier posts about Saddam and Serbia:
- Prosecutors at Saddam's trial introduced two important documents yesterday. The first is a memo from the Revolutionary Court, dated June 14, 1984, listing the names of 148 suspects that had been sentenced to death by hanging. The chief prosecutor, Jaafar al-Moussawi, said the signature on the memo was that of the court's head, Awad al-Bandar, one of Saddam's co-defendants. The second is a presidential order signed by Saddam approving all 148 death sentences. The sentences were passed after an "imaginary trial," al-Moussawi told the court. "None of the defendants were brought to court. Their statements were never recorded."
- The European Union has given Serbia a one-month deadline to catch fugitive war criminals Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, the former President of the Serb Republic and its wartime leader. If Serbia fails to do so, the EU will suspend the next round of negotations on Serbia's membership, which is scheduled for early April.
- The lower house of Russia's parliament has passed -- by a vote of 423 to 1 -- a new anti-terrorism bill that authorizes the military to shoot down a hijacked passenger plane if terrorists threaten to fly into a building or populated target. The bill now goes to the upper house, where it is likely to pass, and then to President Vladimir Putin, who is expected to sign it.