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Saddam Hussein Thrown Out of Court Again


Saddam Hussein's stormy trial on genocide and other charges has resumed in Baghdad. The trial was in session just two hours before the former Iraqi leader was thrown out of court - again.

Defendant Saddam Hussein told the presiding judge he did not want to be kept in a courtroom cage anymore. His demand annoyed chief judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa, who ordered Saddam removed from the court.

Saddam's defense lawyers were already staging a boycott of the court session to protest last week's removal of the previous chief judge for failing to be neutral.

The court appointed other attorneys to take over the defense, and got down to the business of hearing from a series of Kurdish witnesses.

One elderly man complained that a chemical weapons attack by Iraq's military destroyed the sight in one of his eyes. He said later all the people in his village were rounded up by Iraqi security forces and taken to a larger city where they were held prisoner. While they were captive, one of the guards forced some of the young women to have sex.

Questions from defense lawyers tried to cast the Kurds not as victims, but as anti-government fighters in league with Iran.

The charges against Saddam and six former subordinates grow out of the 1988 Anfal campaign that prosecutors say killed more than 180,000 Kurds. Some of the victims were killed with chemical weapons.

The defendants could face the death penalty if they are convicted.

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