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Hussein, Lawyers Walk Out Of Courtroom

29 January 2006 - Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein walked out from the court soon after his trial resumed today.

Hussein left the court accusing it of being an American court after one of his seven co-defendants was expelled from the session for defying the presiding judge. After a defense lawyer was also removed, the entire defense team walked out.

Court-appointed lawyers then took over Hussein's defense.

Earlier, co-defendant Barzan Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti and a defense lawyer were forcibly removed from the courtroom.

A new judge, Raouf Abdul Rahman, is now presiding over the trial. His predecessor, Rizgar Mohammed Amin, resigned amid accusations from government officials that he was too lenient toward the defendants.

Hussein and seven co-defendants face charges over the 1982 killing of 148 people in the village of Al-Dujayl.

(AFP, Reuters, AP)

Copyright (c) 2006. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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