The tribunal that will put &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2002/11/06/39211.html ' target=_blank>Saddam Hussein on trial released a new video Monday of the former dictator being questioned by magistrates about the killing of 50 Iraqis in retaliation for a failed assassination attempt in 1982.
The video from the Iraqi Special Tribunal showed a bearded Saddam wearing a dark-colored jacket and white open-collared shirt being questioned by chief judge Raid Juhi. Four other members of Saddam's administration also were shown in the video.
It was unclear when the video was made, and Saddam's chief lawyer, Khalil al-Duleimi, said he would have to see it before commenting. The tribunal said the lawyer was present during the questioning.
An announcement that accompanied the tape said Saddam was being questioned about crimes related to the execution of at least 50 Iraqis in 1982 in the Shiite town of Dujail, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Baghdad, in retaliation for the failed assassination attempt, reports the Canada.
According to Reuters, a spokesman for the elected government, dominated by Shi'ites and Kurds, said this month that it was interested in a swift trial and death sentence for Saddam, and that therefore it was not necessary to prepare cases on all the many charges of &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2003/04/24/46310.html ' target=_blank>genocide and crimes against humanity he faces.
There has been speculation that prosecutors may find it easier to produce evidence of direct personal involvement by Saddam in the killings at Dujail than in some of the more prominent accusations.
One source in the Iraqi government has told Reuters that two of five people currently charged in connection with Dujail -- Saddam's half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti and former vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadan -- were ready to testify that Saddam had personally ordered the killings.
The prosecution will allege that over 100 executions were carried out in reprisal for an attempt to assassinate Saddam as his motorcade passed through the village, north of Baghdad, in July 1982. The village's date groves were destroyed and hundreds of residents were interned in the south of the country.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea