Prime defendant admits responsibility for evictions in Anfal

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February 7, 2007 Prime defendant admits responsibility for evictions in Anfal

VOI - by Dergham Mohammed Ali

Baghdad – The prime defendant in anti-Kurds Anfal case Ali Hassan al-Majid, Saddam's cousin, admitted on Wednesday responsibility for the evictions against Iraqi Kurds in 1980s.

"I admit my responsibility for driving Kurdish families out of their villages and that President Saddam Hussein has no connection with these evictions," al-Majid said before a court session.

Iraq's Supreme Criminal Court entrusted with the Anfal case held on Wednesday morning a session chaired by chief judge Mohammed al-Uraibi al-khalifah and attended only by Ali al-Majid (Chemical Ali) for questioning over al-Majid's primary statement he made before an investigative judge.

Wednesday's hearing represents a first session for the defense submissions after the court finished a series of prosecution witnesses and evidence hearings to condemn the six defendants in the Anfal case.

Replying to a judge's question on an order to kill men over 15 years of age whenever found in a village whose people were evacuated during the anti-Kurds Anfal campaign, al-Majid said "Yes I did. I gave such an order and if time goes back again I will give a similar command under the same war circumstances with Iran." 

The main defendant in the anti-Kurds Anfal case was the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The court dropped charges against Hussein following his execution on December 30, 2006.

Saddam Hussein was hanged four days after the Iraqi appellate body upheld a ruling by a court considering the case of al-Dujail, a small town in northern Baghdad, where 148 people were slain after a bungled attempt on Saddam's life in 1982 during the Iraq-Iran war.

Also in Wednesday's session, al-Majid denied that he gave military orders during the Iraqi army operations (codenamed the Anfal campaign) against  the Kurds in northern Iraq.

Ali Hassan Majid, Saddam's cousin, is the most prominent among the six defendants in the Anfal case. Also standing trial with him are Saber al-Dori, the former chief of military intelligence organization, Taher al-Aani, the former Mosul governor, Sultan Hashim Ahmed, the former defense minister, Hussein al-Tikriti, the former member of the armed forces' general command, and Farhan Mutlak al-Juburi, who occupied a leading position in the former military intelligence.

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