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Saddam has yet to formally face any charges of war crimes
Up until its fall in April 2003, Saddam Hussein's regime continually violated the human rights of the Iraqi people. The regime's contempt for its own citizens, its neighbours and the international community, increasingly isolated Iraqi society. Saddam Hussein, members of his family and other Iraqi officials committed genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture.
Over the last six years, INDICT has collected evidence of serious crimes committed by senior members of the Iraqi regime, from witnesses in fifteen different countries.
"...we monitored...radio communications between the political and military leadership...SADDAM HUSSEIN briefed the assembled commanders that there would be a chemical attack on Halabja and that soldiers should wear protective clothing...I heard a telephone conversation between SADDAM HUSSEIN and ALI HASSAN AL MAJID. SADDAM ordered him to form a working group...After the meeting ALI HASSAN AL-MAJID returned to the area HQ...Aerial pictures of Halabja after the attack were shown to SADDAM HUSSEIN and other members of the Revolutionary Command Council."
"One of the President's bodyguards brought 30 prisoners out. They were Kurds. The President himself shot them one after another with a Browning pistol. Another 30 prisoners were brought and the process was repeated. SADDAM HUSSEIN was laughing and obviously enjoying himself. There was blood everywhere - it was like an abattoir... Those who were still alive were eventually finished off by the security officers."
Halabja poison gas attack
The Halabja poison gas attack was an incident on 15 March-19 March 1988 during a major battle in the Iran-Iraq war when chemical weapons were used, allegedly by Iraqi government forces, to kill a number of people in the Iraqi Kurdish town of Halabja (population 80,000). Estimates of casualties range from several hundred to 5,000 people. Halabja is located about 150 miles northeast of Baghdad and 8-10 miles from the Iranian border.
Most accounts of the incident regard Iraq as the party responsible for the gas attack, which occurred during the Iran-Iraq War. For example, the TerrorismCentral (www.terrorismcentral.com...) web site states, "The poison gas attack on the Iraqi town of Halabja was the largest-scale chemical weapons (CW) attack against a civilian population in modern times. ...The CW attack began early in the evening of March 16th, when a group of eight aircraft began dropping chemical bombs, and the chemical bombardment continued all night. ... The Halabja attack involved multiple chemical agents, including mustard gas, and the nerve agents sarin, tabun and VX." Some sources have also pointed to the blood agent Hydrogen Cyanide.
Some debate continues, however, over the question of whether Iraq was really the responsible party, stemming from the fact that the United States supplied chemical weapons which may have been responsible for Halabja to Iraq. The matter is further complicated by the fact that the U.S. State Department in the immediate aftermath of the incident "instructed its diplomats to say that Iran was partly to blame."
A preliminary Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) study at the time concluded, apparently by determining the chemicals used by looking at images of the victims, that it was in fact Iran that was responsible for the attack, an assessment which was used subsequently by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for much of the early 1990's.
The seven broad charges against Saddam are
Killing of religious figures in 1974;
Gassing of Kurds in Halabja in 1988;
Killing the Kurdish Barzani clan in 1983;
Killing members of political parties over the last 30 years;
The 1986-1988 "Anfal" campaign of displacing Kurds;
The suppression of the 1991 uprisings by Kurds and Shiites;
The 1990 invasion of Kuwait
Specific charges will be filed later, Iraqi officials said. Those charges were expected to include war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. A formal indictment with specific charges is expected later, said Salem Chalabi, director of the Iraqi Special Tribunal. The trial is not expected until 2005.