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Saddam vows not to attend genocide trial proceedings

[JURIST] In a letter [text] to the chief judge presiding over his genocide trial, Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] has said he would not attend further proceedings because he "wasn't given the chance to speak when I tried to clarify the truth." The authenticity of the one-page letter, handwritten in Arabic and dated Monday, could not be confirmed, but it was released by Hussein's defense team Tuesday. Specifically, Hussein complained that he was not allowed to rebut a prosecution allegation that he put $10 billion into foreign bank accounts. Prosecutors asked chief judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa on Monday to freeze the money for possible payments to victims. AP has more.

Also during Monday's hearing, al-Oreibi granted a prosecution request to conclude the witness phase of the trial [JURIST report], adjourning until Wednesday with just one prosecution witness left to testify. Prosecutors are now expected to present documents that allegedly link Hussein to the 1987-88 "Anfal" genocide campaigns [HRW backgrounder] against ethnic Kurds in Northern Iraq. Hussein is also appealing his conviction and death sentence [JURIST report] resulting from a separate trial on charges of crimes against humanity [judgment] committed in the town of Dujail.

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