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Trial Of Saddam Hussein Adjourned

Saddam Hussein is being tried for the killing of more than 140 Shi'ites in the 1982 Al-Dujayl massacre (file photo) (AFP) 1 February 2006 -- The trial of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has been adjourned until 2 February after the court heard five witnesses.

The trial had resumed earlier today, but without Saddam or his lawyers attending the proceedings.

Only three of the seven defendants attended, with court-appointed defense lawyers.

The trial had been briefly delayed due to what courtroom sources said were procedural issues. It first resumed in a closed session then it opened to the news media.

Earlier, defense lawyers for Saddam vowed not to attend, demanding that the presiding judge, Ra'uf Rashid Abd al-Rahman, be taken off the case. They accuse the judge of bias against Saddam.

In a chaotic session on 29 January, Saddam and his lawyers walked out as al-Rahman tried to stamp his authority on the proceedings, saying he would not tolerate outbursts and political statements from the defendants and their lawyers.

Hussein and seven co-defendants face charges in connection with the killing of more than 140 Shi'ites after a 1982 assassination attempt on Hussein in the town of Al-Dujayl.

(compiled from agency reports)

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