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Specter slams Saddam trial process in tribunal chamber

[JURIST] On a brief visit to Iraq Tuesday US Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter [official website] met with the chief judge overseeing the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive], telling reporters gathered in the trial chamber before the meeting that he had been "disappointed [in] the way the court has permitted Saddam to dominate the proceedings." Saddam has several times made a spectacle of his trial for the 1982 massacre of 143 Shiites [JURIST report] by sparring {JURIST report] with presiding Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin, refusing to show up [JURIST report], claiming torture [JURIST report] and openly praying in the middle of the court’s proceedings. “The evidence ought to be presented in a systematic way which would show that there’s been quite an accomplishment in taking (Saddam) out as opposed to letting him be a blusterbun and control the proceedings,” said Specter. Specter, a former Philadelphia district attorney, asserted that Saddam should be held in contempt of court or be tried in absentia, both topics that Specter said he planned to discuss with Amin. The Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website; JURIST news archive] has adjourned Saddam's trial until January 24th [JURIST report]. AP has more.

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