[JURIST] Chief judge Mohammed al-Uraibi of the Iraqi High Tribunal [official website] said Sunday that the court will hand down a verdict June 24 in the genocide trial [JURIST news archive] of Ali Hassan al-Majid - known to the Western media as "Chemical Ali" [BBC profile] - and five other former Hussein-era officials. The six face genocide charges [JURIST news archive] for their alleged involvement in the slaughter of tens of thousands of Kurds during the Anfal campaign [HRW backgrounder] of 1988. Al-Majid has denied the allegations [JURIST report], stating that he does not know who used chemical weapons or "if they were ever used."
Defense witnesses have repeatedly testified [JURIST report] that the defendants did not have access to chemical weapons and that no orders were received to use them. Prosecutors have sought the death penalty [JURIST report] for Al-Majid and three other defendants and have asked that charges be dropped against one of the defendants due to lack of evidence. Al-Majid became the leading defendant [JURIST report] in the trial following the execution of Saddam Hussein [JURIST report] last December. AP has more.