updated 7/29/2005 8:51:44 AM ET 2005-07-29T12:51:44

Saddam Hussein was called to a hearing where he was questioned about repression of the Shiite uprising in 1991, which erupted after U.S.-led forces drove the Iraqi army out of Kuwait, the chief investigative judge said Friday.

Saddam was summoned Thursday, and answered questions alone during the 45-minute hearing, said Judge Raid Juhi of the Iraqi Special Tribunal, set up to try the former dictator.

Juhi said he expects to conclude the criminal investigation into Saddam’s alleged crackdown against Shiites in southern Iraq, as well as his campaign in the late 1980s to force Iraqi Kurds from wide areas of the north. A trial date for the former dictator will be announced in the coming days, Juhi said.

Saddam is expected to stand trial in September for his alleged role in the 1982 massacre of Shiite Muslims in Dujail north of Baghdad. It will be the first of what are expected to be about a dozen trials involving Saddam and his key henchmen.

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