Deathbed testimony implicates Saddam

The court trying Saddam Hussein and seven former cohorts over a massacre in Iraq in 1982 watched video testimony from a witness who gave evidence from his prison hospital before his death.

    Entire families were rounded up, al-Shaikh said

    Waddah Ismail al-Shaikh, a former prison warden, was shown

    sitting in a wheelchair and dressed in a hospital robe giving

    testimony over the killing of 148 men and youths from the

    Shia village of Dujail after an attempt on Saddam's life.

    The court

    also saw a brief

    video clip of Saddam in Dujail when the trial resumed after a 40-day

    break.

    Al-Shaikh, who has since died, testified that about 400 people,

    including women, children and old people, were rounded up after

    Saddam's convoy came under fire in Dujail in July 1982.

    "The troops took orders from Barzan, they spread out through

    town and started arresting citizens ... including entire families,"

    he said, referring to Barzan Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti, one of

    Saddam's three half-brothers and a former director of the feared

    Mukhabarat intelligence service.

    In the video clip, Saddam was heard telling his security forces to

    "separate them and investigate them".

    Al-Shaikh was warden of the notorious al-Hakmia prison in

    Baghdad, where most of the Shia were taken from Dujail.

    The

    prison had a reputation for taking in political prisoners who rarely

    emerged alive.

    SOURCE: AFP


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