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Saddam trial adjourned to October 16 as verdict awaited

[JURIST] Chief Judge Raouf Abdel Rahman [BBC profile] on Thursday ordered proceedings in the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive] adjourned until October 16, when a verdict against the ousted Iraqi president is expected to be announced. Hussein was not in court Thursday, but his former Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan [Wikipedia profile] and Awad Hamed al-Bandar [Wikipedia profile], former chief of Hussein's Revolutionary Court, did attend and argued with the judge that the proceedings were a "sham."

The prosecution called for Saddam to face the death penalty [JURIST report] last month for allegedly killing, torturing and illegally detaining Dujail residents, including 148 executed Shiites [JURIST report], and for committing other inhumane acts after an alleged 1982 assassination attempt on Hussein's life. Hussein has requested execution by firing squad [JURIST report] rather than hanging if he receives the death penalty because he claims he was a member of the military. But his request is unlikely to be met; Iraqi law mandates that execution be carried out by hanging, and Saddam never actually served as a soldier but merely appointed himself commander-in-chief. He faces a second trial [JURIST report], expected to begin next month, charges of genocide against Iraq's Kurdish population. Reuters has more.

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