Court tapes reveal Saddam discussed using chemical weapons to 'exterminate thousands'

[JURIST] The voices of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] and his cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid [BBC profile], known in the Western media as "Chemical Ali", were heard discussing the use of chemical weapons to kill thousands in audio tapes played Monday before the Iraqi High Tribunal [official website] during its ongoing genocide trial [JURIST news archive; BBC trial timeline] of six former Hussein regime officials originally charged with the late dictator in connection with the deaths of some 180,000 Kurds during the so-called "Anfal" campaigns [HRW backgrounder] of the 1980s. The trial reconvened Monday with the chief judge dismissing all charges against Saddam [JURIST report] following his December 30 execution [JURIST report]. A voice identified as Saddam discusses how using the chemical weapons would force those affected not to eat or drink and confirms the chemicals would "exterminate thousands." Al-Majid says on the tapes that he would use chemical weapons to kill, and curses any criticism by the international community.

It was unclear in the proceedings Monday why or when the recordings were made. Not guilty pleas [JURIST report] have been entered for all defendants, who have denied [JURIST report] that chemical weapons were used on the Kurds. Reuters has more.

 

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