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Saddam not to be tried until summer

Jan. 19, 2004 at 2:51 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Saddam Hussein will not be tried until Iraq is in the hands of Iraqis, U.S. Secretary of State Colin said Monday.

"I think (the trial is) best to be done after Iraqis have sovereignty in their own country after July 1," Powell said in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corp. "It will take at least that long to bring all the charges together and for the Iraqis to do it in a correct way."

The United States is scheduled to hand power back to the Iraqis on June 30 -- a government of legislators chosen by 18 regional caucuses. However, Iraq's most powerful Shiite cleric wants direct elections to select the new government.

A crowd of Shiite Muslims estimated by reporters to be 100,000 marched peacefully on Baghdad Monday calling for an elected government, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"The sons of the Iraqi people demand a political system based on direct elections and a constitution that realizes justice and equality for everyone," said Hashem al-Awad, the representative of Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani who is leading the call for elections. "Anything other than that will prompt people to have their own say."

Topics: Ali Sistani
© 2004 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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