Saddam Hussein's second trial began yesterday. He is accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the alleged anti-Kurdish Anfal campaign in late 1980's.
However, he refused to enter a plea.
He was in the dock with six co-defendants, including; his cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, popularly known as "Chemical Ali," for allegedly ordering poison gas attacks against Kurds, especially Halabja attack, former Defence Minister Sultan Hashim Ahmad, former intelligence chief Saber Abdul Aziz al-Douri, former Republican Guard Commander Hussein al-Tirkiti, former Nineveh Provincial Governor Taher Tafwiq al-Ani and former top military commander Farhan Mutlaq al-Jubouri.
The prosecution accused Saddam of ordering the Anfal campaign, and charged all the defendants with war crimes and crimes against humanity for their involvement in the Anfal campaign aimed at clearing the Kurdish along the border with Iran.
Saddam claimed that the special tribunal was illegal and refused to state his identity, only identifying himself as "the president of the republic and commander-in-chief of the armed forces."
He also refused to enter a plea when asked by chief judge Abdullah al-Amiri.
Al-Majid also refused to plead.
Al-Amiri, a Shiite, then entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of them.
The verdict of Saddam's first trial will be given of October 16th. Saddam will face death penalty by hanging if found guilty.
It is unclear whether the sentence would be carried out before the Anfal trial is concluded.
It would have been far better to conduct a Nuremberg style trial, where all crimes would have been placed before the court in one trial.