The verdict and possible sentences against Saddam and seven co-defendants in the Dujail genocide case will be handed down on November 5, the chief investigating judge Raid Juhi said Monday.
In the three-page letter, dictated to his lawyers, Saddam also urges Iraqis to set aside sectarian and ethnic differences and focus instead on driving the US forces out of Iraq.
“The hour of liberation is at hand, God willing, but remember that your near-term goal is confined to freeing your country from the forces of occupation and their followers and not to be preoccupied in settling scores,” Saddam writes in the Arabic-language letter, which is dated Sunday and signed by “Saddam Hussein al-Majid, President and commander-in-chief of the holy warrior armed forces.”
Saddam is charged with killing of 148 Shiites from the town of Dujail in the 1980s, and faces another trial for genocide against the Kurds during a military offensive in 1987-88, codenamed Operation Anfal.
He urges Sunnis to forgive their Iraqi opponents, including those who helped the US forces track down his two sons — Odai and Qussai — who were killed in a battle with American soldiers in the northern city of Mosul in 2003.
“When you achieve victory,” he writes, “remember you are God’s soldiers and, therefore, you must show genuine forgiveness.”