Saddam verdict to be announced on November 5

A verdict against Saddam Hussein and seven co-defendants charged with crimes against humanity in connection with an anti-Shiite crackdown in the 1980s will be announced on November 5, a senior court official said today.

A verdict against Saddam Hussein and seven co-defendants charged with crimes against humanity in connection with an anti-Shiite crackdown in the 1980s will be announced on November 5, a senior court official said today.

Sentences for those found guilty will be issued the same day, said chief investigating judge Raid Juhi.

The former Iraqi leader could be hanged if convicted. However, he could appeal against the sentence to a higher, nine-judge court.

His co-defendants include his former deputy, Taha Yassin Ramadan, and his half brother and former intelligence chief Barzan Ibrahim.

The trial began a year ago with the eight defendants facing charges arising from the deaths of nearly 150 Shiites from the town of Dujail after a 1982 assassination attempt against Saddam in the town north of Baghdad.

That trial adjourned on July 27 to allow its five-judge panel to consider a verdict. The court was to have reconvened today to hear a verdict.

“The Dujail trial will resume on November 5 when the presiding judge will announce the verdict and the sentencing,” Juhi said.

Saddam is the chief defendant in another trial, facing genocide charges in connection with a government crackdown in the 1980s against Iraqi Kurds. The prosecution alleges about 180,000 people died in that campaign.

Saddam, his cousin “Chemical” Ali al-Majid and five other co-defendants could face death by hanging if convicted.

Hearings in the second trial will resume tomorrow.

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