Eight arrested in Iraq assassination plot

 

Iraqi police have arrested eight Sunni Arabs in the northern city of Kirkuk for allegedly plotting to assassinate the investigating judge who prepared the case against Saddam Hussein, a senior police commander said today.

The men were carrying a document from former top Saddam deputy Izzat al-Douri ordering them to kill Raed Juhi, said Col. Anwar Qadir, a police commander in Kirkuk, where the men were arrested yesterday.

Al-Douri is the highest ranking member of the Saddam regime still at large and is believed to be at least the symbolic leader of Saddam loyalists still fighting U.S. forces and the new Iraqi government.

Saddam's trial is set to resume tomorrow after a five-week break.

The first prosecution witnesses are expected to testify before the five-judge panel, offering accounts of the deaths of more than 140 Shiite villagers following an assassination attempt against Saddam in the town of Dujail in 1982.

If convicted Saddam and his seven co-defendants could be sentenced to death by hanging.

AP