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New Saddam trial on Anfal charges set for August 21

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] and at least six co-defendants will face a second trial beginning August 21 for allegedly killing 100,000 Kurds during the so-called "Anfal" operation [HRW backgrounder] in northern Iraq in the 1980s, the Iraqi High Tribunal said Tuesday. The tribunal filed genocide and crimes against humanity charges [JURIST report] against Hussein and his co-defendants in April, though reports conflict on whether Hussein himself is charged with genocide. The Anfal trial will run concurrently with the Dujail trial if judges in the Dujail trial have not reached a verdict by August 21, though chief prosecutor Jaafar al-Moussawi believes the Dujail case will close before the start of the Anfal trial.

Hussein's defense team is preparing for July 10 closing arguments in the Dujail trial [JURIST news archive], where Hussein and seven co-defendants are accused of crimes against humanity [JURIST report] for killing, torturing and illegally detaining Dujail residents, including executing 148 Shiites [JURIST report], and for committing other inhumane acts in response to an alleged 1982 assassination attempt on Hussein's life. The prosecution called for the death penalty [JURIST report] for Hussein and some of his co-defendants during their closing arguments. If convicted, Hussein could be hanged before the Anfal trial finishes. Iraq President Jalal Talabani [BBC profile], however, has said that Hussein's life will likely be spared until the court completes separate trials for all of his alleged crimes. AP has more.

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