Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, May 18, 2007

‘Chemical Ali’ trial out of public spotlight

Ali Hassan al-Majid, Saddam Hussein’s cousin and the man known to Iraqis as Chemical Ali, pleaded innocent to any involvement in the Anfal offensives last week, the New York Times reported yesterday. Al-Majid and five other defendants claimed they had nothing to do with chemical attacks, village demolitions, deportations, torture and mass executions of Kurdish men, women and children in the late 1980s, according to the article.

The defendants were compliant, contrary to Saddam Hussein in his recent trial, but stressed that any action they took was the result of direct orders from Baghdad. In addition, al-Majid said he knew nothing about the poisonous gas attacks, even though the prosecution has strong evidence linking him to the campaign.

Several more trials are envisioned, but, Hussein’s execution last year, pressure from the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office and the reduction of American financing for the Iraqi High Tribunal makes it hard to anticipate how far the Iraqi government will go in prosecuting former officials.

For the full article, click here.


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