- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 9, 2003

AMMAN, Jordan (Agence France-Presse) President Saddam Hussein tops a list of 14 Iraqis who have been put on a U.S. "blacklist" of figures to be removed from power and put on trial, a statement by the Iraqi opposition said yesterday.
Saddam's two sons, Uday and Qusay, were also on the list, said a statement received in Amman from a group that provided it on the condition of anonymity.
"Well-informed and close sources to the U.S. administration have indicated that the administration has drawn up a blacklist comprising the names of Iraqi officials which the United States is seeking to remove from their posts and put on trial," the statement said.
The list included Iraqi No. 2, Ezzat Ibrahim, deputy chairman of Iraq's ruling Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), and Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan.
Others are Saddam's cousin and fellow RCC member, Ali Hassan al-Majeed, RCC member Mohammad Hamza al-Zubeidi, intelligence chief Taher Jalil al-Takriti, and head of state security Hani Abdellatif al-Takriti.
Also on the list were: Abed Hammud, Saddam's personal secretary; the second Vice President Taha Mohieddin Maaruf; Iyad al-Rawi, former army chief of staff and head of the "Al-Quds Army"; Abdul Tawwab Mulla Howeish, deputy prime minister and minister of military industrialization; and Amer Rashid, who was fired Tuesday as oil minister.
Absent from the list are such well-known figures as Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, a veteran of Iraqi diplomacy, and Foreign Minister Naji Sabri.
The form the trials would take had not been determined but could involve the international community, U.S. officials told United Press International.
President Bush's national security team is considering a variety of trial venues, including "the U.N., The Hague, ad hoc tribunal, military tribunal," a senior official told UPI. "A post-conflict Iraqi government could conduct some of these trials itself."
The United States has warned Iraq repeatedly that if its commanders order the use of chemical or biological weapons against U.S. or allied forces, they will be held to account for war crimes.
Atrocities by Saddam's government are well-known and documented, and could form the basis of post-conflict prosecutions against Iraqi officials for crimes against humanity before an international tribunal.
Saddam's regime used torture camps and chemical weapons against the Kurds in northern Iraq during the 1980s and in the 1991 uprising, and all but annihilated the marsh Arabs in southern Iraq, exiled opposition leaders said.
The United States has piled pressure on Iraq to disarm or face military action and suggested that a war could be averted if Saddam abdicates or seeks exile in another country.
Iraq's ambassador to Moscow, Abbas Khalaf, said such suggestions were "completely absurd nonsense."
"The Americans launched this canard after failing in their attempts" to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Mr. Abbas said yesterday.
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld repeated earlier this week that Saddam's abdication could avert the looming military campaign, which some reports suggested could begin in the latter half of February.
The German newspaper Tageszeitung, quoting Russian and U.S. diplomatic sources, reports in its edition today that Russian President Vladimir Putin's administration is offering Saddam exile in Russia to avert a war.

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