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 Saddam aides go on trial in Iraq

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Morgan Le Fay
Noble Man/Woman
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Number of posts : 836
Registration date : 2007-07-29

PostSubject: Saddam aides go on trial in Iraq   Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:18 am

Saddam aides go on trial in Iraq







"Chemical Ali" has already been sentenced to death

The trial has begun in Baghdad of 15 aides of the former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, who are accused of committing crimes against humanity.
The charges relate to their alleged role in suppressing a Shia uprising after the 1991 Gulf War, in which tens of thousands are thought to have died.
In recent years, mass graves containing hundreds of bodies have been uncovered.
The defendants include the cousin of Saddam Hussein, Ali Hassan al-Majid, who is widely known as "Chemical Ali".
Majid has already been sentenced to death, following an earlier trial for crimes against Iraq's Kurdish population.
Two more of the defendants in the latest trial - Sultan Hashim al-Tai, a former defence minister, and Hussein Rashid al-Tikriti, a former deputy chief of operations for the armed forces - were also sentenced to death for those killings.
'Cold-blooded killings'
Dressed in a cream robe and a white kuffiya shawl, Majid was among the first to enter the Iraqi High Tribunal in Baghdad's heavily-fortified Green Zone on Monday.
"I am the fighter Ali Hassan al-Majid," he replied when asked to identify himself by Judge Mohammed al-Oraibi al-Khalifa.





DEFENDANTS
Ali Hassan al-Majid
Sultan Hashim al-Tai
Hussein Rashid al-Tikriti
Abd Hamid Mahmoud al-Nasseri
Ibrahim Abdul Sattar al-Dahan
Walid Hamid Tawfik al-Nasseri
Iyad Fatiya al-Rawi
Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hasan
Abdul Ghafour Fulayih al-Ani
Ayad Taha Shihab al-Douri
Latif Maal Hamoud al-Sabawi
Qais Abdul Razzaq al-Adhami
Sabir Abdul Aziz al-Douri
Saadi Tuma Abbas al-Jabouri
Sufyan Maher al-Ghairiri



Profile: 'Chemical Ali'
Flashback: 1991 Iraq revolt


The 15 defendants were accused of crimes against humanity "for engaging in widespread or systematic attacks against a civilian population".
In his opening statement, the chief prosecutor accused the men of carrying out cold-blooded executions during the uprising.
"The helicopters were bombing the cities and houses of people. Prisoners captured were killed," the prosecutor said.
"Majid used to come to detention centres, tie the hands of the detainees and then shoot them dead with his weapon. The dead were then later buried in mass graves," he added.
"Many mass graves have been found since the 2003 war ended. And we will find many more if we keep searching."
The court will hear about 90 witnesses as well as audio tapes and written reports. US officials said there was little remaining evidence of the orders given, however, as Saddam Hussein ordered the destruction of records.
Mass reprisals
The Shaaban Intifada (Uprising) started in March 1991 as defeated Iraqi troops fled back to southern Iraq after US-led forces took control of Kuwait








In Saddam's killing fields


Galvanised by a message by US President George Bush to "take matters into their own hands", the Shia strongholds of Najaf and Karbala rose in revolt in an attempt to topple Saddam Hussein.
Soon, thousands of rebel troops seized control of the major southern city of Basra and 14 of Iraq's provinces, and advanced to within 60 miles of Baghdad.
But despite these early successes, the rebellion was swiftly crushed by government forces. Mass reprisals followed in which tens of thousands are believed to have died.
Many Shia blame President Bush for the uprising's failure, as the US came to a ceasefire agreement that allowed forces loyal to Saddam to crush the rebellion by using helicopter gunships.
The trial will deal with crimes against humanity allegedly committed by Iraqi military leaders and leaders of the ruling Baath Party in putting down the rebellion and in the punishment of its suspected supporters.
Majid is said to have directed Baghdad's military response to the uprising.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/
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