Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Perspective: Mosul Court Is Americans' Exhibit A, But No Americans Allowed

MOSUL, Iraq -- Last year, the criminal justice system here had nearly ground to a halt. Intimidated judges were refusing to hear trials. Some judges were allowing suspected insurgents to go free.

Then American advisers in this northern Iraqi city made a proposal: The Iraqis should bring in judges from Baghdad who would serve anonymously. And local officials and the chief judge in Baghdad agreed.

Now U.S. military officers and State Department officials here tout the Mosul program as a major success and a model for the rest of the country. But the Americans also acknowledge that the Iraqis' desire to rid the court of foreign influence has led to a situation they never anticipated. At the end of the first day of its first session in December, Major Crimes Court 15 banned Westerners from its proceedings.

Read the rest at the Washington Post