One of Hussein's many mass graves
18 December 2004 -- Iraqi judges have begun interrogating Saddam Hussein's former defense minister, as well as the notorious general known as "Chemical Ali."
Raad al-Juhyi, the head of a judiciary panel charged with investigating former regime officials, told reporters that the questioning of "Chemical Ali," who real name is Ali Hassan al-Majid, and Hussein's last defense chief, Sultan Hashim Ahmad, began today.
The hearings are part of a judicial process that will eventually try Hussein and 11 other officials for war crimes and other charges.
"Chemical Ali" is accused of some of the worst crimes of the Hussein era, including the gassing of Kurds in Halabja in the late 1980s.