Saddam Hussein's trial has resumed in Baghdad, where a witness is testifying about the former Iraqi dictator's involvement in a village massacre during the 1980s.

Proceedings against Saddam and seven of his lieutenants resumed after a two-week break for Iraq's parliamentary elections. The ousted Iraqi president had refused to attend the trial's previous session on December 7, but he was in court Wednesday.

The defendant interrupted the testimony to ask for a brief recess for noon prayers. When the judge refused his request, Saddam turned away from the bench and appeared to pray from his seat in the defendants' enclosure in the courtroom.

Correspondents watching the trial say the 68-year-old defendant appeared more subdued than he was during previous court appearances.

Saddam and his co-defendants are accused of ordering or carrying out the torture and killing of more than 140 Shi'ite Muslims 23 years ago in the village of Dujail, which was the launching point for an unsuccessful attempt to kill Saddam. If convicted, they could be sentenced to death.

Saddam listened and took notes Wednesday as witness Ali Hassan al-Haidari, who was 14-years-old at the time of the Dujail massacre, described the abuse and carnage that he saw and his family experienced.  Mr. Al-Haidari testified that Saddam's motorcade was in Dujail during the crackdown.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.