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Hussein Given State Lawyers After Defense Snubs Trial

Saddam Hussein in court (file photo) (epa) September 25, 2006 -- The Baghdad court trying Saddam Hussein and six former colleagues for genocide has appointed attorneys to represent them after the entire team of defense lawyers announced a boycott, partly in protest at the Iraqi government's sacking of the chief judge last week.

The defense team on September 24 accused the court of making "intolerable mistakes."

Shortly after the session opened, Hussein was ejected from the courtroom after complaining about being kept inside a metal pen.

The judge, Muhammad al-Uraybi, also ejected Hussein at the last hearing on September 20 for interjecting.

Hussein and his former colleagues face charges including genocide for spearheading a military campaign against the Kurds in the 1980s that prosecutors say left 182,000 dead.

In testimony presented on September 25, a Kurdish villager told the court that women prisoners were often raped by a prison warden during the campaign.

(AP, Reuters)

RFE/RL Iraq Report

RFE/RL Iraq Report

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