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Iraqi prosecutor accuses judge of favoring Saddam in genocide trial

[JURIST] Munqidh Al Faraun, the chief prosecutor in the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive] requested Wednesday that presiding judge Abdullah al-Amiri remove himself from the case for reasons of bias, specifically, for allowing defense lawyers to make politically-charged statements in court. Al-Amiri was named trial judge [JURIST report] in August of the second Hussein trial [BBC timeline], this one involving the so-called "Anfal" operation [HRW backgrounder] that killed 100,000 Kurds in northern Iraq in the 1980s. Reminding prosecutors of his long tenure as a judge, al-Amiri refused the requests for removal.

The trial resumed [JURIST report] in Baghdad this week after several weeks adjournment and the court heard testimony [JURIST report] from survivors who described the aftermath of the chemical weapons bombing campaign. 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. In August, Kurdish witnesses testified about the alleged Anfal gas attack [JURIST report], when they described two planes flying over two Kurdish villages dropping chemical weapons on the villagers and said that many people were blinded in the attacks, though defense lawyers say the witnesses were coached. Aljazeera has more.

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