He was one of Saddam’s most notorious henchmen and he is set to be the first to go on trial. Ali Hassan al-Majid, known to the world as “Chemical Ali”, could face Iraqi justice as early as next week. Majid is said to be behind some of the worst atrocities of Saddam’s regime. He earned his nickname gassing Iraqi Kurds in Halabja in the late 1980s. All the evidence and witnesses are said to be already in place.
As for the former Iraqi leader himself, no timescale has been set for his trial. Saddam Hussein, who has appeared in court once so far since he was captured a year ago, faces charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and breaking Iraqi law. Lawyers for the old regime say they do not recognise the legitimacy of any courts set up by a US-backed government. Analysts say the trials may be timed to coincide with Iraqi elections at the end of January.