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 Home > News & Policies > December 2003

For Immediate Release
December 11, 2003

Global Message

From the Coalition Provisional Authority

The Iraqi Governing Council created the Iraqi Special Tribunal on December 10.

Council members were advised by the Coalition Provisional Authority and other international law experts who have worked with tribunals established to deal with atrocities committed in the former Yugoslavia, East Timor and Sierra Leone.

The all-Iraqi tribunal is based in Baghdad and has jurisdiction over Iraqi nationals and residents of Iraq. It will handle the following crimes, committed between July 17, 1968 and May 1, 2003:

  • Crimes of genocide
  • Crimes against humanity
  • War crimes
  • Tampering with judiciary
  • Waging war on an Arab state
  • Squandering Iraqi assets

Defendants will:

  • Be presumed innocent until proven guilty;
  • Have the right to a fair and impartial public hearing;
  • Have the right to know the details of the charges;
  • Have the right to legal assistance of their own choosing;
  • Have the right to confront witnesses against them; and
  • Have the right to not be compelled to testify against themselves.

Penalties will be prescribed by Iraqi law and free legal assistance will be available for defendants who are unable to pay.

The tribunal will be funded by the Iraqi government's regular budget, with an additional $75 million from the U.S. government.