Human Rights Watch: Saddam not given fair trial

Human Rights Watch said Monday that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was not given a fair trial, claiming in a report that attorneys and judges undermined the legitimacy of the process by staging repeated walkouts and failing to uphold standards of international law. In a 97-page report, the group called the soundness of the guilty verdict "questionable" and said the Iraqi High Tribunal was not equipped to handle such a complex case. The document was based on observation of the trial and interviews with court officials, lawyers and other key parties, the group said. The New York-based rights group said it found "serious procedural flaws," citing shortcomings in the timely disclosure of incriminating evidence. It also said that the defendants were not allowed to properly confront witnesses, and that the judges at times did not maintain an impartial demeanor.