Saddam trial: Defense witness killed
A lawyer for Saddam Hussein said one of his witnesses had been killed and complained of restrictions on the case. "The defense is not free to present its witnesses the way the prosecution is," one of the defense lawyers told chief judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman. "There are restrictions that limit us, as well as the security provisions necessary to bring the witnesses to the court. Some days ago, one of the witnesses who testified before us was killed."
The lawyer, according to the AP, said the defense is limited because some potential witnesses are wanted by the U.S. military or Iraqi government and so won't appear.
The comments came as Abdel-Rahman chided the defense for trying to add to its list of witnesses, saying it must ensure its witnesses can directly address the charges facing Saddam. "The key is not the number of witnesses, but the quality of their testimony. That's in your interest. If you come with 100 witnesses but they aren't effective for your defense ... the court won't take it," he said.
The defense on Tuesday tried to introduce CD videos as evidence in the trial. But Abdel-Rahman refused to show them immediately in court and told the lawyers to make a written request to submit them, sparking a new argument.
Saddam interjected that Abdel-Rahman should give the defense as much time as the prosecution. "I would insist not come here if I did not respect the judicial system," Saddam told the judge. "My respect for the judicial system is the reason behind accepting my collegues to defend me and to present my case before Iraqis and public opinion."
"The prosecution presented all his witness one by one. We have nothing here, just talk, but when even talk is forbidden then we enter an imbalance," the ousted president said. "To attain balance we have to give the same opportunity to the defense witnesses."