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Saddam Hussein and some of his co-defendants have objected to the new chief judge (epa)
2 February 2006 -- The trial of Saddam Hussein resumed in a Baghdad courtroom today without the presence of the ousted Iraqi president and seven other defendants.
Hussein and his top aides face charges of crimes against humanity that include mass murder.
Hussein and most of his co-defendants and their lawyers did not appear at the 1 February public session of the trial, and have boycotted the court since 29 January.
The defense team accuses new chief Judge Ra'uf Rashid Abd al-Rahman of bias and is demanding his removal. Today, Hussein's chief defense lawyer also called on two prosecutors to resign.
Today, Abd al-Rahman barred the remaining three defendants, saying they had caused "chaos" outside the courtroom.
The open session was attended by court-appointed defense lawyers and just three of the eight defendants. The session heard testimony from five prosecution witnesses before being adjourned.
A protester in Baghdad carries a picture of a relative killed at Al-Dujayl (AFP file photo)
Former Iraqi dictator SADDAM HUSSEIN
and seven of his associates went on trial on October 19, 2005, on charges of crimes against humanity for the regime's role in the deaths of 148 residents from the town of Al-Dujayl, and the imprisonment of 1,500 others following a botched assassination attempt against Hussein there on July 8, 1982. Following the arrests and deportations, the regime leveled the town... (more)
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