Iraqi PM calls for speedy Saddam trial wrap-up, death sentence

[JURIST] In a joint news conference Wednesday with Moqtada al-Sadr [BBC profile], a militant Shiite cleric and head of the Mehdi Army militia, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [BBC profile] expressed hope for speedy proceedings against former president Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] and proclaimed that “God willing the death sentence verdict will be issued soon against the tyrant Saddam and his followers." A verdict is expected in the Dujail crimes again humanity case [JURIST news archive] against Hussein as early as November 5, though a possible execution by hanging could be delayed until after an appeals process and more pending trials. A second trial [BBC timeline; JURIST news archive] of Saddam and cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid [BBC profile] for their role in the alleged genocide of Kurds in the Anfal campaigns [HRW backgrounder] of the late 1980s is already well underway.

Last month, al-Maliki's government criticized and removed {JURIST report] the chief judge in the genocide case for denying that Saddam had been dictator of Iraq [JURIST report], saying the statement sacrificed his neutrality in a trial whose objectivity is already compromised by international pressure and ongoing violence. AP has more.



 

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