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'Chemical Ali' to face new genocide charges

[JURIST] Iraqi prosecutor Jaafar al-Moussawi announced additional charges Monday against Saddam Hussein's cousin and former Iraqi defense minister Ali Hassan al-Majid [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] for the violent response to the predominately Shi'a uprising [HRW backgrounder] in southern Iraq following the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Al-Majid, also known as Chemical Ali, is being charged with genocide, mass murder, and crimes against humanity. He has already received a total of five death sentences [JURIST report] for his role in the 1988 Anfal campaign [HRW backgrounder] that slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Kurds. Al-Moussawi said the trial, which will include 14 other defendants, is expected to begin on August 21.

Al-Majid and four other defendants are currently appealing [JURIST report] their sentences in the Anfal trial to the Appeals Chamber of the Iraqi High Tribunal [official website]. If the defendants' death sentences are upheld, Iraqi law requires the executions to take place within 30 days of the court ruling. The new trial will be the third involving Hussein-era officials. The first was the Dujail case [BBC timeline] involving crimes against humanity committed in that Iraqi town in 1982, which resulted in the hangings of Hussein and his co-defendants. AFP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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