BAGHDAD, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Prosecutors pressed ahead in the genocide trial of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and six others Monday in Baghdad after a two-week recess.
The group is charged with crimes against humanity involving the deaths of as many as 180,000 Kurds in 1987-88 in the so-called Anfal, or spoils of war campaign, which prosecutors allege was a type of ethnic cleansing undertaken while Iraq and Iran were at war.
All seven men have pleaded innocent to the charges, which include the use of chemical and biological weapons. Many of the key defense lawyers, including chief lawyer Khalil al-Dulaimi, are boycotting the trial over alleged governmental trial interference, and court-appointed lawyers are filling in for them.
A BBC correspondent at the trial said prosecutors hope to wind up the proceedings before Saddam is executed on his recent conviction for ordering the massacre of 148 Shiite men and boys in Dujail in 1982. However, all capital cases in Iraq automatically go to appeal, and no date has been set for that yet.