Accessibility links

Legal Expert: Saddam Trial Could Begin in Weeks

A Western legal expert says the trials of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and 11 of his top aides could begin in a matter of weeks.

The expert briefed reporters on condition of anonymity Wednesday in Baghdad. He said the Iraqi Special Tribunal will have a five-judge panel that will hand down verdicts and sentences.

If found guilty, some of the defendants could face death by hanging or firing squad. He did not say who would be tried first, but said some defendants could face several trials for multiple crimes.

Saddam Hussein and his deputies face charges of crimes against humanity, including the 1988 gassing of thousands of Kurds in northern Iraq, and the 1991 campaign to repress Shi'ite Muslims in the country's south.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.