Bodies yield evidence for case against Saddam Hussein

For two years, a team of forensic scientists from around the world has sifted through bones, clothes, identity papers and spent bullet casings exhumed from mass graves to build criminal cases against Hussein and to reconstruct the victims’ final moments. In all, the investigators have excavated nine mass graves – from among the more than 200 scattered around the country containing, by some estimates, tens of thousands of victims – and have completed more than 330 files. The forensic files will come into play for the first time on Aug. 21, when Hussein is to stand trial on genocide charges, accused of trying to annihilate the Kurdish people in 1988. He is alleged to have ordered military operations that wiped out entire villages, sometimes with chemical weapons, killing at least 50,000 people.

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