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Key dates in Saddam's trial

Here is a timeline of the trial of Saddam Hussein and the co-accused.

india Updated: Nov 05, 2006 15:42 IST

Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging on Sunday after being convicted for crimes against humanity. He was charged with killing more than 140 Dujail villagers following an assassination attempt in 1982.

Here are the key dates in the trial:

October 19, 2005: The trial of Saddam Hussein and seven of his henchmen for the massacre of 148 Shiite villagers from Dujail begins at the Iraqi Special Tribunal in Baghdad. The deposed leader proclaims his innocence.

October 20, 2005: Saadun Janabi, lawyer for co-defendant Awad Ahmad al-Bandar, is assassinated in Baghdad.

November 8, 2005: Adel Mohammed Abbas, lawyer for Saddam's former deputy Taha Yassin Ramadan, is found murdered in Baghdad. Tamer Hammud, lawyer for co-accused Barzan al-Tikriti, is wounded.

November 9, 2005: Saddam's entire defence team questions the legitimacy of the court, which has been renamed the Iraqi High Tribunal and from which Saddam was expelled many times on charges of contempt.

November 28, 2005: The court hears the first testimony from a prosecution witness after a 40-day break.

December 5, 2005: Two witnesses tell about mass arrests, torture and killings in Dujail.

January 23, 2006: The court appoints new interim chief judge Rauf Rashid Abdel Rahman, a Kurd, to take over from Rizkar Mohammed Amin, who resigned in the face of criticism over his alleged lack of firmness.

February 28, 2006: Prosecutors submit what they say is a signed execution order showing Saddam's guilt in the killings.

March 1, 2006: Saddam accepts for the first time in court that he ordered the trial of Shiite suspects implicated in the assassination attempt against him.

March 15, 2006: Saddam calls for Iraqis to join the "resistance" and dismisses his trial as a "comedy". Former secret police chief Barzan al-Tikriti denies involvement in the Dujail massacre.

April 4, 2006: Saddam defends decision to try Dujail suspects prior to their alleged executions.

April 17, 2006: Experts confirm authenticity of Saddam's signature on documents implicating him in the massacre.

May 15-17, 2006: Saddam refuses to enter a plea as charges are formally presented. The other defendants say they are not guilty.

June 19, 2006: The chief prosecutor calls for death penalty for Saddam, his half-brother Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and former vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan.

June 21, 2006: A third defence lawyer, Khamis al-Obeidi, is murdered. Saddam begins a one-day hunger strike in protest the following day.

July 26, 2006: Court-appointed lawyer make final arguments because Saddam's defence team is boycotting hearings. Saddam ends a second hunger strike, which continued for 18 days, and asks to be shot rather than hanged if convicted.

July 27, 2006: The trial is adjourned till October 16.

August 21, 2006: Start of another trial of Saddam and six co-defendants, this time on charges of genocide during the 1988 Anfal campaign against the Kurds.

October 29, 2006: Saddam's lead Iraqi lawyer, Khalil al-Dulaimi, drafts letter to US President George W Bush warning of dire consequences if a verdict is issued.

November 5, 2006: The court hands down its verdicts:

• Saddam Hussein and his half-brother sentenced to death by hanging.

• Awad Ahmad al-Bander al-Sadun, former chief judge of the revolutionary court and deputy head of Saddam's office, also condemned to death.

• Taha Yassin Ramadan, former vice president, gets life term.

• Three Dujail Baath party leaders — Abdullah Khadem Ruweid, his son Mezhar Abdullah Ruweid and Ali Daeh Ali — sentenced to 15 years each in jail.

• Local Baath official Mohammed Azzam al-Ali acquitted.

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