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Hussein Trial Focuses On Signatures On Execution Orders

Khalil al-Dulaymi, defense lawyer for Saddam Hussein (file photo) (epa) April 19, 2006 -- The trial of Saddam Hussein has again heard claims that the former Iraqi leader's handwriting was on execution orders dating from the 1980s.

Chief judge Ra'uf Rashid Abd al-Rahman, speaking as the trial resumed today, read out an expert's report that stated the documents had Hussein's signature and handwriting.

However, Hussein's defense lawyer, Khalil al-Dulaymi, cast doubt on the reliability of evidence. Citing "the lack of expertise and equipment in the Iraqi criminal investigation" team, he called for a "commission of international experts" to be set up.

On April 17, Hussein refused to confirm or deny his signature was on the documents.

Hussein and seven co-defendants are on trial for the deaths of 148 Shi'a following an attempt on the former Iraqi leader's life in 1982. They could be hanged if found guilty.

(Reuters, AP)

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