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Verdict Delayed in Saddam's First Trial


Court officials in Baghdad say there may be a delay in issuing a verdict in Saddam Hussein's first trial on mass murder charges. VOA's Jim Randle reports from Iraq, where the former Iraqi leader faces two separate trials at the same time.

Saddam was scheduled to hear the verdict in his trial on mass murder charges on October 16.

But court officials say judges will be reviewing evidence and considering whether to recall some witnesses.

It is not clear when a verdict might be issued.

This is the first of two trials for Saddam. In this case, he is accused of killing 148 Shi'ites in the town of Dujail in the 1980s.

After months of testimony, the court has been in recess since late July.

Saddam and his co-defendants could face execution if they are found guilty.

Meantime, Saddam's other trial is also in recess. He is charged with genocide on allegations he orchestrated a military campaign against Kurds in northern Iraq that left more than 180,000 dead.

That genocide trial was adjourned until October 9 after several stormy sessions that saw shouting matches between defendant Saddam Hussein and the chief judge.

Saddam complained about court procedures, said he is not getting justice, and disparaged Kurdish fighters called Peshmerga.

During the last session, Chief Judge Mohammed Oreibi repeatedly told him to sit down and finally ordered him out of the court.

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