Iraq tribunal charges Saddam with genocide against Kurds

[JURIST] The Iraqi High Criminal Court [official website; JURIST news archive] announced Tuesday that new genocide and crimes against humanity charges have been filed against Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] and six others in his former regime's crackdown against the Kurds during the 1980s. The new charges were filed with a different judge than the one handling his current trial for the 1982 massacre of 148 Shiite villagers in Dujail [JURIST report]. According to Iraqi law, the second trial against Saddam may begin in as soon as 45 days. The charges stem from Saddam's role [JURIST report] in Operation Anfal [HRW backgrounder] that culminated in a gas attack [BBC report] against Kurds in the village of Halabja [US State Dept. backgrounder], which killed 5,000 civilians including women and children. The current Operation Anfal charges, however, do not cover the Halabja attack. Court spokesman Raid Juhi has said that there will be a separate trial on that attack. Reuters has more. The Saddam Hussein Trial Blog has background on whether Operation Anfal constitutes genocide.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani [BBC profile] also said Tuesday that he expects Saddam to be tried in all the cases against him before the court reaches a final verdict. Authorities have said there could be up to a dozen proceedings against the former dictator and each case could result in a death sentence if the court finds him guilty. Reuters has more.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.