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Verdict against 'Chemical Ali' due tomorrow

He faces a charge of genocide, while five others are accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

world Updated: Jun 25, 2007 10:39 IST


The Iraqi High Tribunal is set to give its verdict on Sunday, on six former aides of Saddam Hussein accused of slaughtering 182,000 Kurdish villagers during a 1988 military campaign in northern Iraq.

Ahead of the judgement, the defence team appealed to United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon to stop the trial which it said was marred by "errors".

The most prominent defendant is Ali Hassan al-Majid, a cousin of Saddam who is widely known as "Chemical Ali" for allegedly ordering the killing of tens of thousands of Kurdish villagers with chemical gas strikes.

He faces a charge of genocide, while the five others in the dock are accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity, all charges that carry the death penalty.

They include Sabir al-Dur, former director of military intelligence; Sultan Hashim al-Tai, a former defence minister;

Husein Rashid al-Tikriti, former armed forces deputy chief of operations; Farhan al-Juburi, a former military intelligence commander; and Taher al-Ani, former gvernor of the main northern city of Mosul.

Majid is the only individual beside Saddam to be charged with genocide over the so-called Anfal campaign against the Kurds in the late 1980s.

Saddam, ousted from power by US-led invasion forces in April 2003, was executed on December 30 for crimes against humanity in a separate case.

All six former regime officials are accused of masterminding the slaughter of 182,000 Kurdish villagers in Iraq's northern Kurdish region in 1988, when the Iran-Iraq war was at its peak.