[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Aug 21 22:00:15 UTC 2006
Aum sarin maker's death penalty upheld
The Tokyo High Court on Friday upheld the death sentence of Aum Shinrikyo
chemist Masami Tsuchiya for his role in making sarin for 2 deadly nerve
Tsuchiya, 41, was tried on six counts, including producing the sarin used
in the 1995 attack on the Tokyo subway system that killed 12 people and
sickened more than 5,500.
Tsuchiya did not attend the high court sessions, which began in November,
and wasn't present for Friday's ruling.
In upholding the 2004 lower court verdict, presiding Judge Yu Shiraki
condemned the cultist for using his chemical expertise to make deadly
nerve gases, and said the defendant deserved to hang even though he did
not participate in the actual attacks.
"There are no reasons to consider any other option than the death
penalty," Shiraki said.
Tsuchiya's lawyers had argued that other cultists learned how to make
sarin from Tsuchiya, and it was possible they made the gas used in the
"The defendant created sarin because leaders of the group ordered him to
do so, and he was not aware of any of the (attacks)," Tsuchiya's lawyers
claimed in their concluding statement.
But Shiraki dismissed that argument, saying Tsuchiya surely was aware that
the chemicals he was synthesizing would be used to kill.
The judge added that the cult's "heinous crimes" would not have been
possible without Tsuchiya's assistance.
Tsuchiya is guilty of 5 other crimes: making sarin for the June 1994 sarin
attack in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, that killed 7 people, making VX
gas used in 3 attacks, in 1994 and 1995, one of them fatal, and the making
of PCP, an illegal hallucinogen.
Tsuchiya, who maintained his allegiance to guru Shoko Asahara,
occasionally used abusive language in his district court trial.
But he chose not to attend any of the high court sessions and has refused
to meet with his attorneys. His lawyers said they would consider a further
Prosecutors, who called Tsuchiya a "homicidal chemist who sold his soul to
the devil," released a statement calling his sentence a "fair and
More than 100 people had lined up in front of the courthouse by 9:30 a.m.
for the 35 public gallery seats. Security checks at the courthouse door
Of the 189 Aum members convicted in connection to crimes tied to the cult,
13, including Tsuchiya, have been sentenced to hang.
Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, was sentenced to hang by the
Tokyo District Court in February 2004. The Tokyo High Court rejected his
appeal, saying his lawyers failed to submit a statement giving a reason
for the appeal. His lawyers filed a special appeal with the Supreme Court
(source: The Japan Times)
Indonesia delays planned execution of Bali bombers
Indonesia has delayed the scheduled executions of 3 Muslim militants
convicted of carrying out the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed more than
200 people, after their defence attorneys announced they would file a
final appeal, a government spokesman said Monday.
The condemned men - Imam Samurda and brothers Amrozi Nurhasyim and Ali
Gufron - were among more than 30 people convicted in the bombings, many of
whom were believed to be members of Jemaah Islamiyah, a South-East Asian
offshoot of al-Qaeda.
Their defence team plans to file a final appeal, known as a judicial
review, with the Indonesian Supreme Court, which prompted the Attorney
General's Office to delay Tuesday's scheduled executions by firing squad,
said I Wayan Pasek Suarta, spokesman for the office.
'It's a legal process, and we respect the process,' he told Deutsche
Defence attorneys said they would demand that the convictions be thrown
out because the anti-terrorism law used to prosecute the 3 men was applied
retroactively. The Jakarta government had pushed through the legislation
in the weeks after the bombing, which killed 202 people, mostly foreign
tourists, at 2 nightspots in Bali's Kuta Beach area.
'We'll file an appeal on the basis that the Attorney General's Office has
violated the constitution because, since the beginning, they were being
tried on a retroactive law,' defence attorney Mahendra Datta told dpa.
In 2004, Indonesia's Constitutional Court ruled that the Attorney
General's Office had illegally applied the law retroactively but
surprisingly upheld the convictions.
Suarta rejected defence claims that retrials should be held and said he
was confident the final appeal would be thrown out.
'We will see how the legal process goes,' he said. 'Our office is ready.'
Nurhasyim, Gufron and Samurda confessed to carrying out the bombings,
using a car bomb and a suicide bomber, and requested to be executed so
they could be seen as martyrs. None of the men has expressed remorse for
Indonesia has had a rash of terrorist attacks blamed on Jemaah Islamiyah,
including the simultaneous bombings of dozens of Christian churches, a
five-star hotel and the Australian Embassy.
(source: Deutsche Presse-Agentur)
Peruvians Would Bring Back Death Penalty
Many adults in Peru believe capital punishment should be implemented
again, according to a poll by Apoyo published in El Comercio. 82 % of
respondents support the death penalty for people convicted of child
molestation and murder.
On Jul. 28, Alan Garca of the American Revolutionary Peoples Alliance
(APRA) officially took over as president. He had previously served as
Perus head of state from 1985 to 1990.
Earlier this month, Garca urged the countrys lawmakers to support his
proposal to allow the death penalty for child abusers and murderers,
saying, "I think society needs more rigour and order, and delinquents need
tougher sanctions. (...) I think these people have no right to live."
Former prime minister and national prosecutor Beatriz Merino voiced her
disapproval, saying, "We are facing a problem of education and the values
of society, which we should deal with through education and policy."
First vice-president Luis Giampietri also disagreed with Garca, declaring,
"Im Catholic, and I think the death penalty is an extreme act."
The South American country abolished capital punishment in 1979, with the
exception of crimes of treason committed in a time of war, and terrorism.
Do you support the death penalty for people convicted of child molestation
Methodology: Interviews with 2,000 Peruvian adults, conducted on Aug. 9
and Aug. 10, 2006. Margin of error is 2.2 %.
(source: Apoyo / El Comericio)
Saddam Won't Enter Plea in Iraq Trial
Saddam Hussein opened his 2nd trial with a show of defiance Monday,
refusing to enter a plea on charges of genocide and war crimes connected
to his scorched-earth offensive against Kurds nearly 2 decades ago.
The trial opens a new legal chapter for the ousted Iraqi leader, who once
again faces a possible death penalty for the killings of tens of thousands
of Kurds during the Iraqi army's "Operation Anfal" -- Arabic for "spoils
The 1987-88 crackdown was aimed at crushing independence-minded Kurdish
militias and clearing all Kurds from the northern region along the border
with Iran. Saddam accused the Kurds of helping Iran in its war with Iraq.
Survivors say many villages were razed and countless young men
"It's time for humanity to know ... the magnitude and scale of the crimes
committed against the people of Kurdistan," the lead prosecutor, Munqith
al-Faroon, said in his opening statement.
"Entire villages were razed to the ground, as if killing the people wasn't
enough," he said, showing the court photos of the bodies of dead mothers
and children. "Wives waited for their husbands, families waited for their
children to return -- but to no avail."
The prosecution also accuses the army of using prohibited mustard gas and
nerve agents in the campaign, and a map of northern Iraq in the courtroom
had red stickers on locations where the weapons were allegedly used. The
trial does not deal with the most notorious gassing -- the March 1988
attack on Halabja that killed an estimated 5,000 Kurds. That incident will
be part of a separate investigation by the Iraqi High Tribunal.
The proceedings are taking place in the same courtroom where Saddam spent
months jousting with the judges in his turbulent first trial. That case
was over the killings of more than 148 Shiite Muslims from the town of
Dujail in a crackdown launched after a 1982 assassination attempt on
Verdicts for Saddam and seven co-defendants are expected in that case on
Oct. 16. The former president faces a possible execution by hanging if
convicted, though he has the right to appeal, a process that could take
If a death sentence is upheld on appeal while the Anfal case is still
being tried, Iraqi law allows for the sentence to be carried out against
Saddam, while the case would continue against the other defendants.
Tribunal officials, however, have been unclear whether the second trial
would be completed.
Saddam, wearing a black suit and white shirt, was the first defendant
called into the court as the trial's first session began Monday morning.
When Chief Judge Abdullah al-Amiri asked Saddam to identify himself for
the record, Saddam retorted: "You know me."
Al-Amiri said it was the law that defendants identify themselves. "Do you
respect this law?" he asked Saddam.
"This is the law of the occupation," Saddam replied, then identified
himself as "the president of the republic and commander in chief of the
The judge told Saddam, "This trial is on charges of genocide, crimes
against humanity and war crimes. Are you innocent or guilty."
Saddam replied, "That would require volumes of books." Al-Amiri ordered a
plea of innocent entered.
The Dujail trial was plagued by frequent outbursts by Saddam and his
co-defendants, who repeatedly challenged the legitimacy of the tribunal,
saying it was created by the Americans, whose forces swept Saddam's regime
out of power in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Saddam appeared ready to show the same defiance in his new trial -- as did
his top co-defendant, Ali Hassan al-Majid, who allegedly led Operation
Anfal and became known as "Chemical Ali" for the use of poison gas.
Al-Majid walked into the court using a cane and wearing a red headscarf
and proudly identified himself as "Fighting comrade 1st Maj. Gen. Pilot
Ali Hassan al-Majid."
Al-Majid also refused to give a plea, and a plea of innocent was entered
for him. The other defendants pleaded innocent.
The chief prosecutor for the special tribunal, Jaafar al-Moussawi, gave
the first opening statement, saying "the order (to launch the Anfal
campaign) was issued by the defendant Saddam Hussein."
Al-Faroon, who is to lead the prosecution during the trial, then described
detentions of hundreds of Kurds, saying girls were raped by guards and
that those who died in prison were buried in shallow graves easy for
animals to dig open.
For Kurds, the launch of the trial was their chance to taste vengeance --
just as the Dujail trial was for Shiites. More than 1,000 survivors and
relatives of victims of the Anfal campaign demonstrated in the northern
Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah on Monday, demanding death for Saddam.
Khadhija Salih, a housewife who spent time in prison during the crackdown
and who lost 5 brothers and sisters to it, said: "Today I will have my
justice as I will see Saddam in the court."
"If I could, I would have killed him myself with great pleasure," she
The nine-month-long Dujail proceedings were frequently stormy, and halfway
through the chief judge was replaced amid criticisms he was too lenient
over Saddam's outbursts. 3 defense lawyers also were assassinated during
Human Rights Watch charged Friday that the Iraqi High Tribunal is
incapable of fairly and effectively trying Saddam and others on the Anfal
charges "in accordance with international standards and current
international criminal law."
The New York-based group said the Dujail trial showed the court's
administration to be "chaotic and inadequate," and also complained that
the trial relied too heavily on anonymous witnesses. It said the court
must "improve its practices if it is to do justice."
The defense on Monday renewed its challenge of the court's right to try
Saddam. His chief lawyer, Khalil al-Dulaimi, said in his opening statement
that the tribunal "was established by an occupation entity ... and
occupation authorities have no right to establish courts."
Monday's session was largely calm and business-like, despite the quiet
expressions of defiance by Saddam and al-Majid.
Chief judge al-Amiri, a 54-year-old Shiite who was a judge under Saddam's
regime for 25 years, hardly raised his voice -- except when Saddam stepped
out for a short break and, when he returned, al-Majid and another
co-defendant stood out of respect for him.
"Sit down!" al-Amiri roared at them 3 times until they took their seats,
as Saddam shot a smile back to his co-defendants.
In the trial, Saddam and al-Majid are charged with genocide, along with
the separate charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity that the
other five defendants face.
Also on trial are Sabir al-Douri, former director of military
intelligence; Sultan Hashim Ahmad al-Tai, former head of the Iraqi army's
1st Corps, which carried out the Anfal military operation; and Taher
Tawfiq al-Ani, then the Mosul governor; Rashid Mohammed, who was deputy
director of operations for the Iraqi military, and Farhan Mutlaq Saleh,
then-head of military intelligence's Eastern regional office.
Iraqi officials and rights groups say the precise death count resulting
from Operation Anfal is difficult to determine because of the attacks'
scale. Estimates range from around 50,000 to well over 100,000.
About 60 to 120 complainants and prosecution witnesses are expected to
appear before the court. The judges also will review more than 9,000
(source: Los Angeles Times)
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