Iraqi tribunal to send five for trial

The Iraqi Special Tribunal has completed preliminary investigations into some of the alleged crimes committed by several of Saddam Hussein’s top henchmen, and it will send the first group of five to trial.

No date was given for trials to begin, but today’s announcement marks the first time the special court has issued referrals, similar to indictments, the final step before trials can start.

The five include Barzan Ibrahim al-Hassan al-Tikriti, one of Saddam’s half brothers, and former vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan. The three others were senior Baath party members.

The five officials are facing charges of crimes against humanity for their alleged involvement in a crackdown in Dujail, 50 miles north of Baghdad, that was organised in retaliation for a failed 1982 assassination attempt against Saddam.

At least 50 Iraqis were allegedly executed in the Shiite town.

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