Vox Populi: The O'Shaughnessy Files

By William O’Shaughnessy | Go to book overview

MARIO M. CUOMO ON THE
DEATH PENALTY, SADDAM
HUSSEIN, PRESIDENT BUSH,
CHRISTMAS, AND GRANDCHILDREN

And once more into the “courtroom” with lawyer Cuomo,
on December 16, 2003.

WILLIAM O’SHAUGHNESSY (W.O.): They found Saddam Hussein in a rat hole, and he will stand trial before some kind of tribunal. Would you represent him, lawyer Mario Cuomo?

GOVERNOR MARIO CUOMO (M.C.): Fortunately for him, Bill, that won’t be necessary. There’ll be other attorneys to represent him. I think a fair trial will conclude that he murdered many people. That much seems obvious from the evidence and his own confessions.

He painted the crimes as required by his position or justified by conflict. But there is no question he slaughtered human beings, so there will be no suspense with respect to the verdict.

I am intrigued by what he will say about weapons of mass destruction, about biological and chemical weapons, about his relationship with the United States. There are many unanswered questions.

W.O.: Do you think that tribunal will be effective and fair?

M.C.: The new Iraqi Constitution and laws are not written yet.

Whether a defendant is entitled to a presumption of innocence or will be given the opportunity to investigate the evidence with his own lawyer is not known at the moment.

The first question will be: Where should he be tried? Some people suggest an international forum. But I think he should be tried in Iraq because he murdered his own people. He’s guilty of international crimes as well, but it remains to be seen if he can be linked to 9/11.

W.O.: Governor, how does he defend himself? Does he say he didn’t kill 1 million people, only 593,000?

-153-

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