Hussein Finally Charged With First Offense

July 17 14:34 2005 Print This Article

Start date to be determined soon

BAGHDAD, July 17 – Charges have been filed against the former leader of Iraq. The first criminal case will be about the slaying of dozens of Shiite villagers in 1982. The chief judge of the Iraq Special Tribunal Raid Juhi announced this today, confirming that the preliminary investigation has been completed and that the case has been referred to the courts for trial.

The date for the trial has to be established within 45 days but the chief judge said that it will only take a few days to establish this date. Saddam is not the only one on trial, his co-defendants in this case are Barazan Ibrahim, intelligence chief at the time and Saddam’s half brother; former Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan; and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, at the time a Baath party official in Dujail, where the massacre took place. If convicted they could face the death penalty.

The tribunal will try to charge Saddam with up to 14 charges but they’re starting off with this fairly “small” charge because it is far more easier to prove and thus get a conviction. Later on he will face bigger charges like genocide. The investigating judges are basing their cases on over 2 million documents, over 7,000 witnesses and forensic reports of over 200 mass graves.

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