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Struggle for Iraq
Click on the events below to read about Iraq's history
Saddam's rise:
Iran-Iraq war:
Gulf War:
1990 - 1991
Second war:
Young activist
Hardline deputy
War breaks out
Israeli bombing
Chemical warfare
Western support
Truce and debt
Kuwait invasion
Desert Storm
Scud missiles
Civilian casualties
Ground war
Iraqi ceasefire
After the war
No-fly zones
Desert Fox
Inspectors barred
US-led invasion
Saddam captured
Iraq in turmoil
Trial of Saddam

Nearly two years after his capture by US forces, Saddam Hussein appears before Iraq's Special Tribunal to answer charges of crimes against humanity.

The charges relate to the killing of 140 men in the mainly Shia town of Dujail in 1982, following a failed assassination attempt.

The deposed Iraqi leader cuts a belligerant figure in court, repeatedly clashing with the judge, refusing to follow procedure and questioning the tribunal's legitimacy.

The defence argue that the Dujail men were sentenced to death after a fair trial and that such an action was a legitimate response against people seeking to assassinate a head of state.

During the trial, three of Saddam's lawyers are assassinated, prompting a boycott of the court by their colleagues, while Saddam himself goes on hunger strike.

Critics of the trial argue that the court is not following legal standards by only requiring a conviction based on it being "satisfied" of Saddam's guilt rather than proving it beyond reasonable doubt, while there are also concerns that some prosecution witnesses appear to have been coached.

In August a second, separate trial opens relating to the 1987-88 anti-Kurdish offensive "Operation Anfal", in which more than 100,000 people are thought to have died.

Saddam refuses to enter a plea in this case and again questions the court's legitimacy.

On 5 November, the judge in the Dujail trial finds Saddam Hussein guilty and sentences him to death by hanging.

The execution is carried out on 30 December 2006.

Saddam Hussein in court
Saddam Hussein refused to recognise the court's authority

Saddam Hussein and co-defendants

A second trial began in August 2006


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