BAGHDAD, Iraq - The Iraq tribunal Tuesday announced new
criminal charges against Saddam Hussein and six others for alleged genocide and
crimes against humanity in the 1980s crackdown against the Kurds, including the
gassing of thousands of civilians in the village of Halabja.
Investigative judge Raid Juhi said the charges against Saddam and the others
had been filed with another judge, who will review the evidence and order a
trial date. The move is tantamount to an indictment under the Iraqi legal
Former Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein speaks at his trial in Baghdad in this March 1, 2006, file
photo. The Iraq tribunal on Tuesday, April 4, 2006, announced new criminal
charges against Hussein and six others in a 1980s crackdown against the
Kurds, including the gassing of thousands of civilians in the village of
The case involves Saddam's role in Operation Anfal, a three-phase move
against Kurds in northern Iraq in the late 1980s. Anfal included the March 16
gas attack against Halabja in which 5,000 people, including women and children
Human rights groups consider the Halabja attack one of the gravest atrocities
allegedly committed by Saddam's regime.
"These people were subjected to forced displacement and illegal detentions of
thousands of civilians," Juhi said. "They were placed in different detentions
centers. The villages were destroyed and burned. Homes and houses of worshippers
and buildings of civilians were leveled without reason or a military
Others accused in the Anfal case include Saddam's cousin, Ali Hassan Majid,
or "Chemical Ali," and former Defense Minister Sultan Hashim Ahmad.
Saddam and seven others have been on trial since Oct. 19 in a separate case ¡ª
the deaths of more than 140 Shiite Muslims following a 1982 assassination
attempt against him in the town of Dujail. Iraqi authorities chose to try Saddam
separately for various alleged crimes rather than lump all the cases into one
The Dujail trial was the first of what Iraqi authorities say could be up to a
dozen proceedings. Saddam could face death by hanging if convicted in the Dujail
case. It is unclear whether the sentence would be carried out while other trials
were in progress.