[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.
Musharaff met with representatives of Pakistani news channels on Saturday to discuss the restrictions. He agreed to withdraw them after broadcasters promised to implement a code of conduct. Last week, Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz [official profile] dismissed charges [JURIST report] against 200 journalists, opposition party members and pro-democracy activists who protested [JURIST report] against the emergency media ordinance contrary to a ban on large-scale rallies in Islamabad. AP has more.
[JURIST] A US military investigator considering the case against Marine lawyer Capt. Randy W. Stone has recommended that he not face court-martial for his failure to launch a probe into the November 2005 killings of 24 Iraqi civilians by a squad of US Marines at Haditha [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive], according to Stone's defense attorney speaking Saturday. US Marine Maj. Thomas McCann recommended the matter be handled administratively. Stone testified in his Article 32 hearing [JAG backgrounder] that he did not launch an investigation [JURIST report] into the killings because he believed that they occurred within the bounds of lawful combat. He also said that he never lied about his response to the incident, but rather always worked "to shed light on what I knew and when I knew it." Lt. Gen. James Mattis, the commanding general overseeing Stone's case, will decide whether Stone will face court-martial; the investigator's recommendation is not binding.
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