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Saddam Refuses to Attend Court Session


Two more witnesses have testified before the special tribunal in Iraq trying former dictator Saddam Hussein and seven of his lieutenants for the murders of more than 140 Shi'ite Muslims 23 years ago.

The televised session began several hours late Wednesday after Saddam refused to attend, complaining of mistreatment. One of the witnesses, whose identity was concealed behind a curtain, told the court how he was arrested and kept with little food and water for several days.

Saddam and his co-defendants are accused of ordering the crackdown on Dujail residents after a failed assassination attempt on his life when he visited the town in 1982.

Following the testimony Wednesday, presiding Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin adjourned the session for two weeks, until December 21, so that the country can focus on next Thursday's parliamentary elections.

If found guilty, Saddam could face the death penalty.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.