Aziz was deputy prime minister under Saddam Hussein's regime. He and his co-defendants are charged in connection with the 1992 execution of 42 merchants accused of price-gouging during a period of UN sanctions. One of the defendants, Ali Hassan al-Majid [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], known in the Western media as "Chemical Ali," did not attend the opening session last month due to ill health [JURIST report] brought on by a self-imposed hunger strike, but was present at Tuesday's proceedings.
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