- The Washington Times - Monday, April 3, 2006

IRAQ

Saddam to face trial on additional charges

BAGHDAD — Saddam Hussein is expected to face trial as early as next month on charges of ordering genocide against Iraq’s Kurdish population in the late 1980s, said a prosecutor and a court official.

They said an investigative judge was expected to hand the central case against the former leader over for prosecution this week. Saddam’s attorneys will be notified that he faces trial for what is known as the Anfal campaign as early as next month.

Saddam and seven co-accused currently are on trial in connection with the deaths of more than 140 Shi’ites in Dujail after an assassination attempt on him in the town in 1982.

AFGHANISTAN

Clerics issue threats over convert’s release

MAZAR-E-SHARIF — Clerics and their followers threatened violence against the government yesterday over the release of a Christian convert, saying he had to be brought back from Italy and put on trial.

About 1,000 people gathered in a mosque in the northeastern town of Kunduz to protest the release of Abdur Rahman, 40, who was spirited out of the country last week, but protests have been few and peaceful.

Mr. Rahman was jailed last month for converting to Christianity and could have faced trial under Shariah, or Islamic law, which stipulates death as punishment for apostasy.

IRAQ

Bodies recovered from U.S. copter crash

BAGHDAD — The U.S. military said yesterday that the bodies of two American pilots killed when their Apache helicopter crashed near Baghdad were recovered and that the aircraft probably was shot down. Three other U.S. soldiers were reported killed in Baghdad and northern Iraq.

The AH-64D Apache Longbow went down about 5:30 p.m. Saturday during combat operations west of Youssifiyah, about 10 miles southwest of Baghdad, the U.S. command said.

“The soldiers’ remains were recovered following aircraft recovery operations at the crash site” of the helicopter, “which went down due to possible hostile fire,” the command said.

FRANCE

Ruling party sidelines de Villepin over jobs

PARIS — Senior figures in France’s conservative party put out compromise feelers to students and unions over an unpopular youth jobs law yesterday, pushing to the sidelines the prime minister who introduced the measure.

Leaders of the ruling Union for a Popular Movement appointed emissaries to talk to union and student leaders who have called a new national one-day strike and street protests tomorrow to demand withdrawal of the First Job Contract law.

The measure, proposed by Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin as a way to promote hiring by allowing employers to summarily fire workers younger than 26, became law yesterday. But President Jacques Chirac said Friday that no contracts should be signed until the law had been softened.

QATAR

Parliamentary ballot to be held next year

DOHA — U.S. ally Qatar plans to hold landmark elections next year for the Persian Gulf country’s first parliament as part of democratic reforms.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheik Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani said at a forum on democracy late Saturday that elections laws would be ready by the summer.

“We expect [elections] will take place by the beginning of next year,” he said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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