Saddam's trial to begin on Oct. 19: government

Iraq's former president Saddam Hussein is to go on trial on Oct. 19 over charges of the 1982 killing of over 140 Shiites north of Baghdad, a government spokesman said Sunday.

"According to recent leaks to the press and with the absence of an official spokesman for the special tribunal, I am authorized to announce that the trial of Saddam Hussein will begin on Oct. 19," Laith Kubba told reporters in a news conference.

Saddam and seven of his top aides will face trial over their responsibility for the massacre of 143 people in the village of Dujail, some 60 km north of Baghdad, after a failed assassination attempt.

On Friday, a judicial official in the Iraqi tribunal predicted that the first trial of Saddam Hussein will start on Oct. 19.

Saddam, who was captured in December 2003, is under custody of the US forces which kept him under heavy guard near Baghdad International Airport.

Saddam could face death penalty if proved guilty.

Source: Xinhua

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