A key prosecution witness in the trial of Saddam Hussein will give testimony next week, even though the trial is adjourned until late November, because he is seriously ill with cancer, officials said Thursday, a day after the former dictator made his first court appearance on murder and torture charges.
The witness, Wadah Ismael Al-Sheik, was a senior Iraqi intelligence officer at the time of the Dujail massacre in 1982 that Saddam and seven other co-defendants are charged with, two lawyers said. They spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid compromising the case or the heavy security surrounding it.
Al-Sheik is now suffering from a serious case of cancer, the lawyers said. He will give testimony to the court on Sunday at a US detention center where he is being held near Baghdad's international airport.
If he recovers, he could be a defendant in a later case regarding another alleged massacre carried out during Saddam's rule, the lawyers said.