The trial of nine Iraqis — including former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz and Ali Hassan al-Majid (aka “Chemical Ali”) — who were allegedly involved in the killing of 42 merchants in 1992 was delayed for about three weeks for logistical reasons soon after it started Tuesday.

Al Jazeera English:

The defendants are accused of involvement in the killing of 42 merchants who were accused of manipulating food supplies to drive up prices at a time when many Iraqis were suffering economically.

The merchants were rounded up over two days in July 1992 from Baghdad’s wholesale markets and executed hours later after a quick trial.

Their bodies were returned to their families the following morning.

Relatives of the men deny allegations that they were manipulating prices.

Some believe that they were killed because their power to set prices during sanctions meant they posed a threat to the Saddam regime, Owen Fay, Al Jazeera’s Baghdad correspondent, said.

Read more


If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.