Judge dismissed in Hussein trial

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The judge in charge of Saddam Hussein's genocide trial has been replaced, the Iraqi Prime Minister's office said.

A government spokesman said that the court agreed to replace Grand Judge Abdullah al-Amiri with a new judge.

"We asked the court to replace him because he said that Saddam wasn't a dictator, which was a violation of his neutrality." said government spokesman Ali Dabbagh.

"The court told us he has already been replaced. This was a decision by the cabinet of the prime minister."

The court is trying Hussein, his cousin Ali Hassan al-Majeed, known as "Chemical Ali," and five others on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for their role in the 1988 Anfal campaign against ethnic Kurds.

Hussein and al-Majeed also face the graver charge of genocide. If found guilty, all men face death by hanging.

The court was set up by US occupying forces to try Hussein for war crimes, and genocide. It is now run by the Iraqi government, with the United States acting as an advisor body.