Anfal trial verdict date announced

Prosecution criticised over video showing trial official celebrating Saddam hanging.

    Ali Hassan al-Majid could be sentenced to death [AFP]

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    Munqith al-Faroon, who was appointed by the government to oversee the prosecution's case, was pictured celebrating alongside armed men following the former Iraqi leader's hanging.
    In the video, al-Faroon is pictured being carried by armed men while waving and chanting in triumph.
    According to Najib al-Nuaimi, a Qatari lawyer and a member of Saddam's defence team, the images are proof that those still awaiting verdicts in the Anfal trial are not being treated fairly.
    Al-Nuaimi said: "This is one of the reasons why our lawyers could not continue on al-Anfal case - because they know exactly what's going on.
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    "That the prosecutor, and even the judges, are part of an ethnic trial and hatred ... it's not independent at all."
    Mustard gas
    Mohammed al-Uraibi, the chief judge, said on Sunday that verdicts against all six would be delivered on June 24.
    He made the announcement at the final session in the trial on Sunday, which lasted only a few minutes.
    Kurds, who make up about 20 per cent of the population, have long sought justice for the attacks.
    Their mountainous northern region is still haunted by the devastating seven-month military operation in which mustard gas and nerve agents were used to clear villages.
    Related link

    Profile: the Anfal trial defendants

    Al-Majid, who acquired the moniker Chemical Ali for his alleged use of chemical weapons, said during the trial he ordered troops to execute all Kurds who ignored orders to leave their villages, but said he had nothing to apologise for.
    The defendants have said Anfal had legitimate military targets - Kurdish fighters who had sided with Iran during the last stage of the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran war.
    Charges against Saddam himself in the Anfal trial lapsed when he was hanged on December 30 last year for crimes against humanity in a separate case.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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