Teriq Aziz--Where Are You? And Why?
Questions for Prosecutors and Judges
Cory Kemp, the African-American city treasurer of Philadelphia, was convicted earlier this month of mail fraud, wire fraud, extortion, making false statements to a bank, money laundering and filing a false tax return.
The trial had been highly contentious and the outcome questionable. A 57-year-old woman--after two months of jury service and 10 days of deliberations--was removed by the judge. "I find that she is biased against the government," the judge said. "She is biased against FBI agents." An alternate juror was substituted, and the jury was ordered to begin again from square one.
Defense attorneys believe that grounds for appeal may well exist.
Kemp was a local boy with no international connections, no way of having secreted tens of millions in offshore bank accounts or buried trunks filled with unmarked, non-sequential hundred dollar bills in the Amazon jungle. How could Kemp possibly fly the coop?
Yet, on the day he was sentenced, Kemp, 34, was instantly clapped in handcuffs and carted off to begin serving his 10-year hitch in the hoosegow.
Was this fair treatment?
Teriq Aziz, where are you?
Does anyone think about Teriq Aziz any more--Saddam Hussein's foreign minister and later deputy prime minister--the eight of spades on the 55 Most-Wanted deck of cards? Aziz was 66 at the time of the second Gulf War, the only Christian in Saddam's inner circle. With his thatch of white hair, goggle-like horn-rimmed glasses and de rigueur macho mustache, Aziz was the most cosmopolitan and recognizable of Hussein's thugs. He spoke English, wore tailored suits when he was representing Iraq in his jaunts to world capitals, and the BBC profile of Aziz reported that those who knew him said he was calm, articulate and suave.
Aziz told Britain's ITV, "Do you expect me, after all my history as a militant and as one of the Iraqi leaders, to go to an American prison -- to go to Guantanamo? I would rather die."