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Last Updated: Friday, 2 September 2005, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Saddam's trial 'set for October'
Chief Investigative Judge Raid Juhi questions Saddam Hussein in a photo released by the tribunal and taken on 23 August 2005
If found guilty, Saddam Hussein could face the death penalty
The trial of Saddam Hussein will begin in the second half of October, an Iraqi government official has said.

The trial would follow the referendum on the country's draft constitution, scheduled for 15 October, he said.

The former Iraqi leader has been charged with the 1982 killing of 143 people in Dujail, north of Baghdad, after a failed assassination attempt.

He is also expected to face charges of gassing Kurds, using violence to suppress uprising and murdering rivals.

More charges

Also charged are former intelligence chief Barazan Ibrahim, former Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan and a local Baath party official, Awad Hamed al-Bandar.

If found guilty, Saddam Hussein faces a possible death penalty.

In total, he could face about a dozen charges for alleged crimes, including the chemical attack on the Kurdish village of Halabja in 1988, the invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the repression of Shias in 1991.

On Thursday, three murderers were executed in Baghdad - the first convicted criminals to be sentenced to death since the fall of Saddam Hussein's government.

The former leader has been awaiting trial since being handed over to the new Iraqi authorities by the US in June last year.

The US soldiers captured him near his home town of Tikrit six months earlier and have detained him at an undisclosed location in Iraq.



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