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Hussein Trial Adjourned

28 November 2005 -- The trial of Saddam Hussein has adjourned in Baghdad, just one hour after it had resumed.

The former Iraqi dictator and seven top members of his former regime are charged in the killing of more than 140 Shiites in Al-Dujayl, north of Baghdad, in 1982. All have pleaded not guilty.

It is not immediately clear when the trial will restart.

Earlier, a defiant Hussein argued with the presiding judge, protesting that guards had brought him in handcuffs and that his pen and paper had been confiscated:

"You are a sovereign, an Iraqi, and they are foreigners, occupiers and invaders," Hussein said. "You must order them to do what is right."

The trial began on 19 October but was adjourned for 40 days to give defense lawyers more time to prepare.

Two defense lawyers in the case have been murdered, while Iraqi authorities say they have broken up a plot to kill the tribunal's top investigating judge.

Police say eight alleged plotters from Iraq's Sunni Arab minority were apprehended on 26 November in the northern city of Kirkuk.

(compiled from agency reports)

Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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