From remarks yesterday by David Scheffer, the State Department's ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues, at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:
This summer, Izzat Ibrahim Douri, vice chairman of the [Iraqi] Revolutionary Command Council and one of Saddam [Hussein's] top deputies, visited Vienna for medical treatment. He learned quickly that international travel is becoming risky for the Iraqi leadership. An Austrian municipal court launched efforts with the Austrian government to seek an arrest warrant against Douri. He then fled the country to return to Iraq.
The United States would have preferred that the Austrian government not sought to facilitate Douri's travel, especially when it seemed as though his sudden departure was made to thwart efforts by others to bring him to justice. But this experience clearly demonstrated to those who want justice against Saddam Hussein and his regime that they need to have their evidence ready and in a form that would justify an arrest warrant. . . .
Saddam Hussein and his closest colleagues should be increasingly confined to Iraq. Sadly, they will still have 48 palaces in which to relax, many built in recent years at the expense of Iraq's children. Still, the victims of Saddam Hussein's crimes can take some small measure of comfort that Iraqi officials responsible for those crimes are no longer enjoying the luxuries of European travel, medical care and the standard of living that they denied to the Iraqi people.