BREAKING NEWS ~ First charge filed against Saddam Hussein

BREAKING NEWS ~ First charge filed against Saddam Hussein

[JURIST] The Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website; JURIST news archive] announced Sunday that it has filed its first formal criminal charge against former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] in connection with the 1982 killing of some 150 Shiites in the village of Dujail [NPR report] in retribution for an assassination attempt. Press reports anticipated last month [JURIST report] that the Dujail case would be the first one brought. Raed Juhi, the tribunal's top investigating judge, said that other charges would be filed as investigations of other cases are concluded, and that a trial date for Hussein would be set in the next few days. Under Iraqi law, a trial can begin no sooner than 45 days after a charge is filed, although the Tribunal did not say exactly when this charge was laid. Three other former Iraqi officials will stand trial with Hussein. The accused could face the death penalty if convicted. BBC News has more.