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Iraqi Court Resumes Trial of Hussein's Former Deputy PM


An Iraqi court has resumed the trial of Saddam Hussein's former deputy prime minister, who is accused of ordering the executions of 42 businessmen in 1992.

Tariq Aziz entered the Baghdad courtroom Tuesday without any lawyers to defend him. It is unclear why his defense team was not present.

Aziz told the court the charges against him are a "plot of personal revenge."

Aziz and seven other defendants are being tried for the executions of 42 Baghdad merchants accused of illegally raising food prices while Iraq was under U.N. sanctions.

Prosecutors are calling for a "suitable punishment" to ease the "hearts of the widows" of the executed merchants.

To most of the world, Aziz was the public face of Saddam Hussein's regime. He was deputy prime minister before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and had served earlier as foreign minister.

Saddam Hussein's cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majid, is among the other defendants in the case. He is known as Chemical Ali for ordering chemical attacks on Iraqi Kurds in the late 1980s. Ali has already been sentenced to death in another case.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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