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First female witness testifies at Saddam trial

[JURIST] "Witness A," the first woman to testify in the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive], gave her testimony Tuesday behind a curtain and with her voice distorted by computer to protect her identity, despite some technical problems which caused a short delay. Witness A continued to describe how she was forced to strip while in prison custody, a day after two witnesses gave testimony of torture [JURIST report] and summary execution, including reports of the use of electric shocks and a meat grinder, which sparked outrage by Hussein. In response, Judge Chief Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin Tuesday cautioned the defendants to be careful about how they talked to witnesses. Amid discussion on the fairness of the trial [JURIST report], Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said Tuesday that the trial was fair [AFP report] and that Hussein's outbursts are indicative of a democratic process since the court is "giving him ample opportunity to talk." Al-Jaafari attributed Hussein's behavior in part to the fact that the trial is televised, adding that Hussein can't stay silent in front of a camera. Hussein and his co-defendants are charged with murder, torture, forced expulsions and illegal imprisonment stemming from the 1982 massacre in Dujail [JURIST report] and could face the death penalty if found guilty by the Iraqi High Criminal Court (formerly the Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website]). AP has more.

2:04 PM ET - AP provides excerpts from Witness A's testimony.

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