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Saddam denounces judge for preventing his statements in court

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] returned to court Wednesday and questioned the chief judge presiding over his genocide trial [BBC timeline] as to why he has not been allowed to speak and defend himself during prior court sessions, saying it was a judge's "duty" to listen. Chief Judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa cut off Hussein's microphone and subsequently threw him out of the courtroom [JURIST report] for the fourth time Tuesday when the former dictator attempted to recite a verse from the Koran. Khalifa responded to Hussein's questions by saying it was necessary to turn off his microphone to bring order to the courtroom and explained to Hussein that he would be allowed to defend himself but political speeches would not be tolerated. AP has more.

Hussein Rashid al-Tikriti [Trial Watch profile], one of Hussein's co-defendants, also accused a bailiff of hitting and insulting him Tuesday after Hussein's eviction. Tikriti, a former army commander, had first punched a bailiff Tuesday during the brawl that broke out when Khalifa announced Hussein's eviction from court. Khalifa told Tikriti that he must remain seated during the trial. After the judge responded to Hussein and Tikriti, he called witnesses to provide accounts of their experiences in the so-called "Anfal" campaign [HRW backgrounder], for which Hussein faces genocide charges [JURIST report] in the 1988 deaths of 180,000 Kurdish villagers. Khalifa then adjourned further court proceedings until October 17. AFP has more.

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