Former Saddam officials deny Kurdish killings

Six former officials in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq regime today denied crimes against humanity for a crackdown on Kurds in the 1980s.

The defendants – including Ali Hassan al-Majid, also known as “Chemical Ali” for allegedly ordering poison gas attacks – gave their response after the chief judge read various charges relating to the campaign, code-named Operation Anfal, which killed an estimated 100,000 Kurds.

The Baghdad trial began last year with each defendant rejecting the general allegations.

Today’s special tribunal delivered specific charges to end the investigative phase of the proceedings. If convicted, they could face a death sentence.

Saddam Hussein was a defendant in the Anfal trial, but was sentenced to death after his conviction for the killing of 148 Shiite Muslims after a 1982 assassination attempt. He was hanged on December 30.

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