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European court dismisses Saddam's case against states

Written by: Staff

STRASBOURG, France, Mar 14 (Reuters) - The European Court of Human Rights today dismissed a case brought by Saddam Hussein complaining that the countries of the U.S.-led coalition which invaded Iraq planned to execute him after a show trial.

Saddam had filed against 21 European states, arguing they had violated obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights referring to the right to life and a fair trial, and forbidding inhuman treatment and arbitary detention.

''He maintained he would be executed following a finding of guilt after a 'show trial' for which he lacked even the basic tools of defence,'' the Strasbourg court said in a statement.

''He argued he fell within the jurisdiction of the 21 states concerned, which, he considered, continued to hold de facto power in Iraq even after the June 2004 transfer (to a government of Iraqis).'' The former Iraqi leader is on trial in Iraq charged with crimes against humanity in the killings of 148 Shi'ite men after an assassination attempt against him in 1982.

He has complained of torture while in U.S. custody.

The Strasbourg court said Saddam had not demonstrated that he fell within the jurisdictions of the 21 coalition states.

''Even if he could have fallen within a state's jurisdiction because of his detention by it, he had not shown that any one of those states had any responsibility for, or any involvement or role in, his arrest and subsequent detention,'' the court said.

Saddam's case was against Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

Reut SK VP0645

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