Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and seven of his henchmen will go on trial on Oct. 19 over the massacre of 143 people more than two decades ago, a government official announced yesterday.
"In view of recent leaks to the press and in the absence of an official spokesman for the tribunal, I have been authorized to announce that the trial of Saddam Hussein will begin on October 19," government spokesman Laith Kubba told a news conference.
Saddam and the seven others will be tried by the Iraqi Special Tribunal over the 1982 killing of 143 residents in the village of Dujail, northeast of Baghdad, where he had been the target of a failed assassination bid.
Saddam is also expected to face separate trials at a later date on further counts of crimes against humanity, particularly with regard to the gassing of Kurds and the mass killings of Shiites in the south of the country.
But Kubba suggested that, if found guilty and sentenced to death after the initial trial, the punishment could be carried out without waiting for any further trials.
If the sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Council for Justice, the highest judicial authority in Iraq, and approved by the presidential council, it "will be implemented immediately," he told reporters.
The 68-year-old Saddam, who was ousted in April 2003 and captured by US forces in December of that year, is currently being detained by US forces outside Baghdad airport.
Others who will stand trial with him include former vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadan, former intelligence chief Barzan Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti, a Saddam half-brother, and Awad Ahmad al-Bandar, a former deputy chief in Saddam's Cabinet.
The remaining four -- Abdullah Khadem Ruweid, Mezhar Abdullah Ruweid, Ali Daeh Ali and Mohammad Azzam al-Ali -- are former ruling Baath party officials responsible for the Dujail area.
They will be tried for the murder of 143 Iraqi citizens, the jailing of 399 families, the demolition of houses and destruction of farmland and the forced exile of a number of the mainly Shiite villagers, Kubba said.
An Iraqi official had said on Friday Saddam would go on trial after a national referendum on Oct. 15 on Iraq's new draft constitution, which has caused deep divisions between the ousted Sunni elite and majority Shiites.
Renewed talks are being held to try to forge agreement following widespread calls for unity after the deadly stampede last week which killed nearly 1,000 Shiite pilgrims.
But the strength of the Sunni-driven insurgency was underlined with more attacks yesterday that killed five Iraq soldiers and a policeman.
also see story:
19 Iraqi forces killed in shootouts with militants
NOVEMBER ELECTIONS: The KMT urged the CECC to exclude Taiwanese from the arrivals cap, as they would lose their right to vote if they could not return by July 26 The COVID-19-related border control measures and the cap on the number of international arrivals are not being eased, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported 112 imported cases of the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of SARS-CoV-2. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is CECC spokesperson, said a meeting was held yesterday morning in which the Cabinet decided that current border control measures would remain in place. He said the main considerations were global COVID-19 cases increasing 21 percent last week, imported cases of Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 continuing to be detected
Samsung Electronics Co yesterday commenced mass production of 3-nanometer chips that are more powerful and efficient than predecessors, beating rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) to a key milestone in the race to build the most advanced chips in the world. South Korea’s largest company said in a statement that it was beginning with 3-nanometer semiconductors for high-performance and specialized low-power computing applications before expanding to mobile processors. By applying so-called Gate-All-Around transistor architecture, Samsung’s 3-nanometer products reduce power consumption by up to 45 percent and improve performance by 23 percent compared with 5-nanometer chips, it said. Samsung’s push to be first
Hong Kong singer Jacky Cheung (張學友) has been criticized by the “Little Pink” — a term used to describe young, jingoistic Chinese nationalists on the Web — for saying “Hong Kong jia you [加油, an expression of encouragement].” To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule on Friday, China Central Television made a series of programs in which it interviewed Cheung and other celebrities. Cheung, speaking in Cantonese, said in the interview that “Hong Kong has been through a lot in the past 25 years, including ups and downs” and ended with the phrase “Hong
FLASH POINT: The ministry said it was aware of Chinese and Russian warships being detected in waters near the disputed islands and was closely monitoring the situation The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday reaffirmed the nation’s sovereignty claim over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) after Japan, which controls the islands in the East China Sea, accused Chinese and Russian warships of operating near the disputed islands. “It is an indisputable fact that the Diaoyutai Islands are an inherent part of the territory of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Any unilateral action taken by other parties will not change the fact,” ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said. Citing the government’s stance in calling on all parties concerned to resolve disputes in a peaceful manner, Ou said the government was aware of