Saddam Hussein's trial on genocide charges against the Kurds resumed Monday after a 12-day break with the former Iraqi leader and his co-defendants in the courtroom, but their lawyers absent.
Saddam's chief lawyer had said Sunday that he and his team would continue boycotting the trial to protest the removal of the first chief judge, and the court's refusal to give the attorneys time to examine thousands of documents.
According to AP, Chief Judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa opened the hearing by calling in Kurdish witnesses to take the stand. One of them, a Kurdish woman has accused Saddam of bulldozing her family into a mass grave. According to AFP, she told of how Iraqi forces attacked her village in northern Iraq's Kurdish region in April 1988 when she was 13 years old and rounded up members of her family, including her brother and his wife and children.
"I know what happened to my family. They were buried alive," she told the court. The prosecutor said that her relatives' identity cards had been found at a mass grave near Hadhar, in northern Iraq.
Meanwhile, Saddam sat in the dock in his trademark dark double-breasted suit, looking uninterested, ignoring proceedings and reading the Koran.