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USIS Washington 
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13 March 1998

CONGRESSIONAL REPORT, FRIDAY, MARCH 13

(Saddam Hussein resolution) (210)



SENATE SEEKS TRIAL OF SADDAM HUSSEIN AS WAR CRIMINAL



The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a nonbinding resolution that
urges creation of a United Nations tribunal to try Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein as a war criminal.


As a "concurrent resolution," the measure approved 93-0 on March 13
does not have the power of law, but simply sets forth the views of the
legislature. It is expected to win easy passage in the House of
Representatives as well.


Specifically, the resolution calls for the U.N. to convene the
tribunal "for the purpose of indicting, prosecuting, and imprisoning
Saddam Hussein."


White House spokesman Mike McCurry told reporters the Senate proposal
was "an interesting idea and we will look at that resolution."


The measure had been discussed briefly on the Senate floor the
previous day; it passed with no further debate.


One of its sponsors, Senator Arlen Specter (Republican, Pennsylvania)
acknowledged that "taking Saddam Hussein into custody is a very
complex matter, and perhaps impossible" without a major military
effort. But, he noted, "The indictment itself, even in absentia, could
give the United States the high moral ground" in its Iraq policy.