'Chemical Ali' is hospitalized after hunger strike

Saddam Hussein's cousin, whose execution has been delayed for months in a complex legal and political battle, has been hospitalized after going on a hunger strike, his lawyer said Monday. Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as "Chemical Ali" for the strikes he ordered against Kurds in the 1980s, and co-defendant Abdul-Ghani Abdul-Ghafour were admitted to a US medical facility on Sunday after they passed out, their defense attorney said. The US military confirmed that al-Majid was hospitalized on Sunday and said he is in stable condition. But it could not immediately confirm the information about Abdul-Ghafour or provide more details. Al-Majid has been sentenced to hang for his role in a brutal crackdown against the Kurds in the 1980s. He is also on trial in a separate case stemming from the suppression of a 1991 Shiite uprising against Saddam's Sunni-dominated regime. Defense attorney Badee Izzat Aref said al-Majid, Abdul-Ghafour and 13 other co-defendants in the Shiite uprising trial started a hunger strike on Friday to protest an order forcing them to stay in cramped quarters at the courthouse instead of their regular cells at the US detention facility Camp Cropper.