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No verdict date set in Saddam Dujail case

[JURIST] The Iraqi High Tribunal [JURIST news archive] convened briefly Monday and announced that the next hearing on the crimes against humanity charges [JURIST report] brought against Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] will be on November 5, though the court refused to say whether a verdict will be handed down during the hearing. Jaafar al-Mussawi, chief prosecutor in Hussein's Dujail trial [BBC timeline], expressed optimism that a verdict would be handed down at the November 5 date, though it could be delayed pending further investigation. The verdict was originally expected Monday, but was postponed [JURIST reports] to give the judges more time to review the evidence against the former Iraqi dictator. Prosecutors had expected the court to set a date for the verdict [JURIST report] during Monday's hearing. AFP has more.

Defense team leader Khalil Duleimi told the press Sunday that Hussein was prepared to forgive those who shot his two sons in 2003 [CNN report], and that Hussein himself ordered his defense team to boycott [JURIST report] the ongoing "Anfal" trial, which is scheduled to resume Tuesday. IOL has more.

Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Hussein [JURIST report] in June for allegedly killing, torturing and illegally detaining Dujail residents, including 148 Shiites [JURIST report]. Hussein faces separate genocide charges [JURIST news archive] for allegedly killing 100,000 Kurds during the so-called "Anfal" campaigns [HRW backgrounder] of the late 1980s. He is eligible for the death penalty [JURIST report] in the Dujail case, and a US official, speaking anonymously, indicated that the Anfal trial could continue posthumously [JURIST report] should Hussein be executed before proceedings in the second trial conclude.

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