The Iraqi tribunal announced last week is the most appropriate way to try captured dictator Saddam Hussein and cronies of his regime, renowned American war crimes expert Ruth Wedgwood said yesterday. United Nations intervention would lessen the effectiveness of determining guilt for crimes that included genocide, the professor of international law at Johns Hopkins University in Washington said. The former terrorism prosecutor who advises US President George W. Bush's administration, said a court set up by the UN Security Council - as happened with the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda - would lead to 'another dose of dysfunction'. She was especially critical of the case now under way in The Hague against former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, who is accused of committing genocide and crimes against humanity. She said she felt it had become mired in politics. Such a legal process would also not allow for the death penalty, as it is not permitted by the UN or European countries. The international tribunal established to try the perpetrators of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 revealed the anomaly of not having the death penalty, Dr Wedgwood said. The leadership behind the killings had a far less harsh set of penalties than those accused of second and third-tier crimes. Dr Wedgwood said the Iraqi tribunal would be similar to Sierra Leone's war crimes tribunal. It had been set up under an agreement between the UN and Sierra Leone, and had an American lead prosecutor and an international majority on each of the panels. 'This one is Iraqi-led, but permits the Iraqi Governing Council to add non-Iraqi nationals to the trial courts and doesn't set any limit on how many,' she said. 'The trial chamber is five, although I'd be surprised not to see at least three Iraqis, although the majority could be international.' The president of the tribunal was required to appoint non-Iraqi observers and assistants to share expertise on international and case law and to ensure due legal process. The trial could be uncomplicated and be carried out with a maximum of 40 judges, no more than half to investigate the alleged crimes. It was important that Hussein was not permitted to politicise the trials, Dr Wedgwood said.