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Saddam trial adjourned again after outbursts, walkouts, ejections

[JURIST] The Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive] resumed briefly Sunday under new Kurdish chief judge Ra'uf Rasheed Abdel-Rahman [Aljazeera profile] but was adjourned again after Hussein, defense lawyers, and two co-defendants left the courtroom protesting the earlier removal of Saddam's half brother and co-defendant Barzan al-Tikriti. Abdel-Rahman, who replaced Chief Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin [JURIST news archive] earlier this month, opened the proceedings by saying he would not tolerate political speeches or disobedience from defendants. He removed al-Tikriti, who is suffering from cancer, after he had begun complaining about his medical treatment. Abdel-Rahman then entered into an exchange with defense lawyers which resulted in one lawyer being removed and the remaining defense team walking out of the court. A heated discussion [BBC transcript excerpts] between Abdel-Rahman and Hussein followed, ending when the judge had Saddam removed. Two co-defendants followed when they objected to new counsel appointed to them after the initial defense walkout. The proceedings concluded after testimony about events in Dujail from an anonymous female witness. The trial is expected to resume Tuesday or Wednesday. Defense lawyers have already said they will boycott the next hearing [Reuters report] unless Abdel-Rahman apologizes for expelling al-Tikriti. BBC News has more [including recorded video].

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