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Saddam co-defendant accuses court guards of abuse

[JURIST] Hussein Rasheed, one of five co-defendants facing charges [JURIST report] in the Saddam Hussein genocide trial [JURIST report], on Thursday claimed Iraqi court guards beat him in the presence of US witnesses after Chief Judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa threw both Hussein and Rasheed out of court last week [JURIST report]. A spokesman for the court denied Rasheed's allegations saying that the court guards are "well trained" and respect human rights. Rasheed also complained that the defendants felt that the trial was rigged and that the verdict against them has already been determined.

In the current trial, Hussein and six co-defendants [AP profile] face crimes against humanity charges, and Hussein and his cousin are also charged with genocide for the 1988 deaths of 180,000 Kurdish villagers in the so-called "Anfal" campaign [HRW backgrounder]. Hussein is also awaiting a verdict in the separate Dujail crimes against humanity case [JURIST report]. The verdict in the Dujail case was originally expected to be announced on October 16 [JURIST report], but has since been delayed [JURIST report] to give judges more time to review evidence. Reuters has more.

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