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Last Updated: Friday, 2 July, 2004, 09:36 GMT 10:36 UK
Saddam appearance taxes press
Saddam Hussein in court

Iraqi newspapers do not appear on Fridays, but the court appearance of Saddam Hussein causes a stir elsewhere in the region.

Most papers agree this is a historic event, and seem in little doubt as to the former Iraqi leader's guilt. Some look ahead in the hope that good will emerge from the trial, while others warn it will hardly solve the problem of Iraq's future.

Saddam Hussein has no choice but to be brave and confess... He should apologise to the Iraqi people and their families who were oppressed, tortured and killed. He should also apologise to his neighbours...

All the crimes he committed throughout his rule are clear as the sun. They do not need evidence or witnesses. The punishment for all these crimes is execution... He should thank God that US guards are still protecting him.

Commentary in Kuwait's Al-Siyasah

The conditions under which Iraqi people lived during Saddam Hussein's regime are the indisputable evidence needed to incriminate this dictator.

Editorial in UAE's Al-Bayan

Saddam's trial should not be confined to the Iraqi people alone. His crimes extended to the whole Arab nation and the neighbouring countries.

Editorial in Saudi Al-Watan

Saddam's trial should be just, fair and convincing, so as to mark a crucial stage in Iraq's history. It should be the beginning of national reconciliation.

Editorial in Qatar's Al-Rayah

The Iraqi leadership is fighting off the prevalent opinion amongst Iraqis that it is only a puppet in the hands of the US-led occupation... Saddam's case is its chance to change this.

Commentary in Palestinian Al-Ayyam

Saddam Hussein's trial will end one day. However, the Iraqi issue will not end with the trial.

Commentary in Qatar's Al-Watan

It would have been much better if the prosecution of Saddam Hussein had come after the occupation period, so that it was fully handled by Iraqis themselves... The Bush administration should prove to the entire world that it did not wage war on Iraq over its oil interests or to settle scores with Saddam.

Editorial in Egypt's Al-Akhbar

Re-establishing the Iraqi state cannot happen in court. Building Iraqi society through the judicial system is also not possible. Similarly, Iraqi identity cannot be formed by the death sentence, even if the accused and condemned was the former Iraqi hangman, Saddam Hussein...

The trial will attract more attention and be more exciting than the artificial transfer of power. It will bring back memories, emotions and past Iraqi anger, which the occupation is trying to use now to justify going to war against Iraq.

Commentary in Lebanon's Al-Safir

Why didn't Saddam's trial take place in The Hague, as happened with former Yugoslav President Milosevic? Our guess is that the aim of the White House hawks, the US state department and Rumsfeld's gang at the Pentagon is to stir up internal fighting among the Iraqis, because this serves their interests.

Commentary in London's Al-Quds Al-Arabia

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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