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U.S. to Detain Hussein for at least Six Months

Posted December. 16, 2003 22:50,   


Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who was arrested by U.S. troops, will remain in custody for at least six months, U.S. officials said. In addition, the U.N. Security Council will convene Tuesday (local time) to discuss agendas like the transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi people.

“The U.S. will retain custody of Saddam until after it turns over sovereignty to a new Iraqi government next year, a process currently scheduled for late June 2004,” U.S. officials were quoted as saying Tuesday on CNN.

“Officials do not believe the administration can legally turn the former Iraqi president over to the current Iraqi Governing Council (IGC), because it was created by the United States and is not a partner to the Geneva Conventions or other international treaties,” CNN added.

The United States says Saddam Hussein will not be tortured and will be given access to the International Red Cross, and, in addition, he will be accorded rights as an ordinary POW under the Geneva Conventions, including a right to write to his family.

Fifteen permanent member countries of the Security Council will seek ways to reach an agreement over the transfer of sovereignty and measures to put an end to Iraq’s occupation by U.S. forces.

However, when President George W. Bush was asked whether or not Hussein`s arrest would alter the timetable for a U.S. withdrawal in a press conference on Tuesday, he said, “The U.S. will follow the set procedures until the completion of our mission.”

In addition, issues such as U.N. involvement in postwar Iraqi reconstruction and the return of U.N. staff to Iraq are expected to be discussed during the Security Council meeting.

Jin Lee Kwan-Hee Hong leej@donga.com konihong@donga.com