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Saddam Thrown Out of Court Again


Saddam Hussein's trial on genocide charges continued in Baghdad, with the former Iraqi leader again getting ejected from the court. When things settled down, witnesses told the court those who did not die in detention camps experienced rape, filth, and brutality.

The chief judge Mohammed al-Ureybi and Saddam Hussein argued in court.

The judge ordered Saddam out of the courtroom after the fallen leader began giving a speech. At one point, a co-defendant punched a guard and yelled that prosecutors are pimps and traitors.

It is the fourth time in the past five sessions Saddam has been ejected.

Saddam and six others are being tried for their alleged roles in the Anfal military campaign against Iraq's ethnic Kurds in the 1980s.

Prosecutors say Saddam's forces used gunfire and poison gas to kill more than 180,000 Kurds and level thousands of villages.

One of the Anfal campaign's alleged victims gave testimony from behind a curtain to protect her from retaliation. She said conditions in the detention centers where she and her children were held reminded her of "Judgment Day".

She said conditions in the detention camps were so bad that one woman had to give birth in a toilet. There was nothing to wrap the newborn in but a burlap sack, and no medical equipment except a piece of broken glass to cut the umbilical cord.

Other witnesses have complained about rapes and other abuses. During Monday's hearing, a Kurdish witness said Iraqi troops had buried a family alive.

This is one of the two court cases underway against Saddam Hussein and some of his former subordinates. In the other case he is accused of crimes against humanity for ordering the deaths of 148 Shi'ites in the town of Dujail in the 1980s.

Saddam and other defendants could be executed if they are convicted in either case.

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