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Former Kurdish rebel testifies in Saddam genocide trial

[JURIST] The second Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST report] resumed in Baghdad Monday with more testimony from prosecution witnesses in the case involving the "Anfal" operation [HRW backgrounder] that killed 180,000 Kurds in northern Iraq in the 1980s. One former Kurdish rebel testified that he was temporarily blinded as a result of chemical attacks allegedly launched on the village by Iraqi troops under the command of Hussein. Hussein challenged the legitimacy of the testimony, saying that the witness was not an Iraqi citizen. The witness was granted Dutch citizenship in 1994, six years after the alleged gas attacks, and Iraq does not recognize dual citizenships.

Hussein and his co-defendants are all charged with crimes against humanity [JURIST report] and Hussein and his cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid [BBC profile], known as "Chemical Ali," also face more serious charges of genocide, which could implicate the death penalty. On Monday, al-Majid said that Iran, not Iraq, was responsible for the Anfal gas attacks. Hussein also is currently awaiting a verdict in the Dujail crimes against humanity case [JURIST report] for which he is eligible for the death penalty [JURIST report]. AP has more.

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