Documents have been shown in Saddam Hussein’s latest trial that prosecutors say prove the ex-Iraqi President’s personal responsibility in the massacre of kurds. Saddam allegedly signed papers giving the go-ahead for military strikes using what is termed ‘special ammunition’.
Prosecutors say this refers to chemical weapons. Another military memo was produced asking for permission to use mustard gas and the powerful nerve agent Sarin. Up to 180,000 kurds were killed in the Anfal, or ‘spoils of war’ offensive, say prosecution lawyers.
The ousted leader has already been sentenced to death in a previous trial but there was criticism that there was no hard evidence to prove his direct responsibility.
The defence claims the kurds were siding with Iran, at war with Iraq at the time and that the Anfal operation was legitimate.
Among the six other defendants is Saddam’s cousin, Ali Hassan al Majeed, known in the media as Chemical Ali.