Iraqis set up tribunal to try Saddam

Iraqi leaders have set up a tribunal of judges and prosecutors to try ousted dictator Saddam Hussein.

Iraqi leaders have set up a tribunal of judges and prosecutors to try ousted dictator Saddam Hussein.

Salem Chalabi, a US-educated lawyer and nephew of the head of the Iraqi National Congress, was named as general director of the tribunal, and he has named a panel of seven judges and four prosecutors, Iraqi National Council spokesman Entefadh Qanbar said.

The tribunal has a 2004-2005 budget of €63m, Qanbar said.

A date has yet to be set for the trial of Saddam, who was captured by US troops in December and has since been held at an undisclosed location in or near Baghdad.

The court and prosecutors will decide on the charges against Saddam and his former officials, Qanbar said, adding that more judges will be hired for the tribunal.

The judges and prosecutors will undergo training, including in international law, war crimes and crimes against humanity, he said.

A committee of Iraq’s Governing Council selected Chalabi as head of the court under a law passed earlier by the council and approved by top US administrator Paul Bremer. The INC, headed by council member Ahmad Chalabi, has a seat on the committee.

Since Saddam’s regime fell, about 300,000 bodies have been found buried in mass graves, victims of his regime’s persecution of political enemies, Kurds and Shiite Muslims, and other groups, US officials say.

Saddam’s military also used chemical weapons against troops and civilians during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s and during a Kurdish uprising.

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