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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Iraq Delays Execution of 'Chemical Ali', Separate Trial Proceeds

04 October 2007

A European lawmaker has testified at the trial of Saddam Hussein's cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majid, that refugees after the brutal 1991 crackdown on Shi'ites showed signs of having suffered chemical attacks.

Emma Nicholson of the European Parliament said Thursday she witnessed injuries caused by chemical weapons when she traveled to Iraqi refugee camps a few months after the uprising.

She said victims told her about yellow clouds that destroyed their kidneys and other organs. She said medical experts later told her that the victims were talking about mustard gas.

Majid and 14 others are currently on trial for their alleged roles in Saddam's brutal crackdown of a 1991 Shi'ite uprising that broke out after Iraq's defeat in the Persian Gulf War.

Majid, known as "Chemical Ali," was to be executed today for his conviction in a separate trial for the killing of up to 180,000 Iraqi Kurds in the 1980s, but Iraq delayed the execution.

Prosecutors say up to 100,000 people were killed in the Shi'ite crackdown. Two defendants in this trial have already been sentenced to death with Majid in the earlier trial.

An Iraqi appeals court in September upheld Majid's death sentence, with the execution to be carried out in 30 days, expiring today.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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