Tuesday, April 04, 2006
AP: Genocide charges for gassing Kurds added to Saddam's case
By SAMEER N. YACOUB, Associated Press Writer -- Tuesday, 19 minutes ago
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Thetribunal announced new criminal charges against and six others Tuesday, accusing them of genocide and crimes against humanity stemming from a 1980s crackdown against Kurds that included the gassing of thousands of civilians.
The move, tantamount to an indictment under the Iraqi legal system, paves the way for a second trial of the ousted ruler. Saddam already is being tried in the killings of more than 140 Shiites in a town north of Baghdad.
Under Iraqi law, the second trial could begin in at least 45 days. Investigative judge Raid Juhi said the charges against Saddam and the others had been filed with another judge, who will review the evidence and order a trial date.
The new case involves Saddam's role in Operation Anfal, a three-phase move against Kurds in northern Iraq in the late 1980s. Anfal included the March 16 gas attack on the village of Halabja in which 5,000 people, including women and children, died.
Human rights groups consider the Halabja attack one of the gravest atrocities allegedly committed by Saddam's regime. "These people were subjected to forced displacement and illegal detentions," Judge Juhi said. "They were placed in different detention centers. The villages were destroyed and burned. Homes and houses of worshippers and buildings of civilians were leveled without reason or a military requirement."
Others accused in the Anfal case include Saddam's cousin, Ali Hassan Majid, or "Chemical Ali"; former Defense Minister Sultan Hashim Ahmad; former intelligence chief Saber Abdul Aziz al-Douri; former Republican Guard commander Hussein al-Tirkiti; former Nineveh provincial Gov. Taher Tafwiq al-Ani; and former top military commander Farhan Mutlaq al-Jubouri.
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