Red Cross: War Crimes Trial for Saddam Separate Issue from POW Status

The International Red Cross says the U.S. declaration that Saddam Hussein is a prisoner of war still leaves open the possibility he could be brought before a war crimes tribunal.

A spokesman for the Geneva-based organization says POW status will give the ousted dictator certain protections. But he says the 1949 Geneva Conventions wouldn't necessarily prevent the U.S. from handing Saddam over to an Iraqi court. It's up to the U.S. as the occupying power to determine the procedures for any trial.

Red Cross spokesman Ian Piper says POW status means Saddam can't be charged for having waged war, but it does not give him immunity from accusations of crimes against humanity.

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