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Saddam rejects mass grave testimony by US forensic experts

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] on Thursday rejected forensic evidence of mass graves presented by US experts in his genocide trial [JURIST news archive] for the "Anfal" campaigns [HRW backgrounder] against ethnic Kurds in northern Iraq between 1987 and 1988. Hussein said that pictures of the graves are "irrelevant to the Anfal case" and that he "refute[s] all the testimonies submitted by the Americans" in the Anfal case, but expressed willingness to accept evidence offered by coalition countries other than the United States. Also on Thursday, Chief Judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa admitted testimony of Michael Trimble, an American forensics expert with the US Army Corps of Engineers. Trimble offered an account of his discovery of corpses of hundreds of Kurdish women and children in three mass graves [NYT report].

On Tuesday, Khalifa rejected an attempt by Hussein to bar testimony by American forensics expert Clyde Snow [JURIST report] after Hussein demanded a neutral witness from a country that was not involved in the 2003 Iraq invasion. Hussein was sentenced to death [JURIST report] earlier this month for crimes against humanity [charging instrument, PDF] committed in the Iraqi town of Dujail [JURIST news archive; BBC trial timeline]. An appeals panel is expected to rule [JURIST report] on the verdict and sentence by mid-January 2007. Prosecutors hope to complete the Anfal trial before Hussein's execution. The Anfal trial has now been adjourned until Monday. Xinhua has more.

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