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Saddam Defense Lawyer Ejected From Court


The trial of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and seven co-defendants accused of crimes against humanity resumed Monday in Baghdad.

Controversy immediately engulfed the proceedings when one of Saddam's defense attorneys was ejected after an argument with the judge, Rauf Abdel Rahman. Lebanese lawyer Bushra Khalil had just returned to court after a long absence following her earlier ejection last month for disrupting the proceedings.

The judge also got into a shouting match Monday with Saddam when the ousted leader challenged the removal of his lawyer. Saddam gave a defiant statement that he was still president of Iraq. The judge rebuked Saddam, saying he was a defendant and no longer president.

Witness testimony was expected on behalf of former revolutionary court judge Awad al-Bandar, who sentenced 148 Shi'ites from Dujail to death after an attempt on Saddam's life in 1982.