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Saddam prosecutors demand death penalty in closing arguments

[JURIST] The prosecution in the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive] presented closing arguments Monday, calling for the death penalty for Hussein, his half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti, former chief judge of the Revolutionary Court Awad Hamed al-Bander, and former senior regime member Taha Yassin Ramadan. Chief Judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman [BBC profile], who abruptly ended witness testimony for the defense last week [JURIST report], adjourned the trial until July 10, when the defense team will present their closing arguments. Jaafar al-Moussawi, the chief prosecutor, told the Iraqi High Tribunal [official website] that the prosecution believes that the "heaviest penalties" should be imposed on Hussein and his co-defendants, saying that they spread corruption and "not even trees escape[d] their oppression."

Hussein and his seven co-defendants face crimes against humanity charges [JURIST report] for killing, torturing and illegally detaining Dujail residents, including sentencing 148 Shiites to death [execution order], in response to an alleged 1982 assassination attempt on Hussein's life. Reuters has more.

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