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Senators favour terror suspects` prosecution in federal court

Last Updated: Friday, February 12, 2010 - 12:33

Washington: Two top Senators have come out in support of the Obama Administration`s decision to try terror suspects, including Nigerian national Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and the alleged 9/11 master mind in federal court and not in military tribunal as demanded by many Republican legislators.

Senators Patrick Leahy and Dianne Feinstein wrote to US President Barack Obama, endorsing the longstanding use of federal criminal courts to prosecute terrorists.

Leahy and Feinstein chair the powerful two Senate Judiciary Committee and Select Committee on Intelligence respectively.

Leahy and Feinstein have supported the administration`s plans to try terrorists in federal court, which have a proven track record over many years of successfully trying
terrorism-related cases.

The letter from the two Senators gains importance in view of the series of letters Obama has received from a number of Senators and Congressmen opposing his decision in this regard.

"We are writing today to endorse the use of our Federal criminal courts to prosecute and bring terrorists to justice," Leahy and Feinstein wrote.

"Our system of justice is strong enough to prosecute the people who have attacked us." The two Senators endorsed the administration`s flexibility to use all available venues for
prosecution, citing as examples the administration`s plans to try the September 11 defendants and Abdulmutallab in Federal court; the USS Cole defendants in a reformed military commission; Major Nidal Hasan, the alleged Fort Hood shooter, is being prosecuted in a court martial.

Senators announce legislation against right abuses in Iran

A bipartisan group of American Senators has announced their intention to introduce a
legislation, which will impose targeted sanctions against members of the Iranian government responsible for human rights abuses.

The proposed legislation requires the US President to draw up and periodically update a list of names of Iranians who have perpetrated human rights abuses against their fellow
citizens since the last presidential election.

Individuals on this list -- which will be made publicly available -- will then be subject to targeted sanctions, including a visa ban and financial restrictions.

The sanctions regime will expire when the President can certify to Congress that Iran has taken tangible steps to end human rights abuses, including the release of all political
Prominent Senators among the cosponsors are Richard Durbin, Jon Kyl, Evan Bayh, Susan Collins, Robert Casey, Lindsey Graham, Kristen Gillibrand, Sam Brownback, Ted Kaufman, and David Vitter.
"The rulers of Iran have no desire to meet their international responsibilities and every desire to use all the tools of violence and repression at their disposal to crush
the peaceful aspirations of Iran`s citizens," McCain said, adding the US must lead a global effort to support the human rights of Iranian people.


First Published: Friday, February 12, 2010 - 12:33

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