Saddam trial adjourned until Feb. 28 as ex-leader stages hunger strike
The trial of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein adjourned on Tuesday after yet another session of hearings against him and seven other co-defendants accused of killing some 150 people in the town of Dujail in 1982.
The presiding judge, Raouf Abdel Rahman, announced that the court would reconvene again on Tuesday February 28.
Saddam returned to court on Tuesday claiming that he and his co-defendants were staging a hunger strike, and had been for the past three days in protest of their forced appearance in a court they see as illegitimate.
"We have been on hunger strike for three days to protest the way they brought us to court," Saddam said, according to Reuters.
Saddam claimed that he had been forced against his will to attend proceedings along with the other co-defendants. As Saddam entered the court he shouted his support for Iraqi fighters, yelling "Long live the mujahedeen." Later, during a testimony, he shouted, "I say to all Iraqis fight and liberate your country."
He argued with Abdel-Rahman, at one point telling the judge, "Hit your own head with that gavel."
Saddam's defense attorney, Khalil Al Dulaimi, told reporters that his client had been tricked into appearing in court on Monday, and then held there against his will.
"What happened in court is a farce," Dulaimi said.
"The president (Saddam) and his senior aides were brought to court by force. They were tricked and when they entered the courtroom the doors were closed and they were prevented from leaving."
"This is contrary to the law and contrary to human rights," he added.
© 2006 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)