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1 July 2004 -- Iraq's deposed president Saddam Hussein has appeared in court at an undisclosed location in Iraq today to hear charges against him for crimes committed during his more than 20 years in power.

News agencies are quoting various unnamed officials as confirming the proceedings have started. But there were no immediate details about the hearing.

The United States transferred Hussein and 11 of his former deputies to the legal custody of the country's new interim government. All 12 are expected to appear before the court today to hear charges against them.

Iraqi officials have said Hussein -- who was captured by U.S. forces in December -- is likely to face war crimes charges in connection with the 1988 chemical weapons attack on Kurds, the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, and the 1980-88 war with Iran.

(Reuters/AFP/AP)
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