In this photograph released by the Iraqi Special Tribunal on June 13, 2005, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is seen being questioned by investigating magistrates

Iraq's special tribunal has filed its first charges against former president Saddam Hussein for crimes committed during his 24-year rule.

The chief investigating judge says the ousted dictator has been charged in connection with the 1982 deaths of dozens of villagers in Dujail. Authorities allege the villagers were killed in retaliation for an attempted assassination of Saddam.

The judge told reporters a trial date could be announced within days. He also said other investigations are continuing or nearing their final stages.

The Dujail case is widely seen as relatively uncomplicated compared to cases of alleged genocide and crimes against humanity still under investigation.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.