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Iraqi court delays Anfal trial resumption to grant prosecutors more time

[JURIST] Minutes after the Iraqi High Tribunal [official website] resumed proceedings Sunday in the Anfal trial [JURIST news archive; BBC trial timeline] it adjourned the proceeding after a prosecution request for more time. The trial is expected to begin again on March 26. On Thursday, two defense witnesses testified anonymously from behind a curtain. The first witness insisted he had nothing to share with the court and the court has refused to release the second witness's testimony. Defense lawyer Badie Arif Ezzat was arrested on Thursday for contempt of court based on his public criticisms of the court, according to presiding judge Mohammad Al-Orabi.

The six defendants are all former Hussein regime officials charged in connection with the deaths of as many as 180,000 Kurds during the so-called "Anfal" campaigns [HRW backgrounder] of the 1980s. KUNA has more.

3/19/07 - The adjournment was also prompted by the appearance of defense lawyer Badie Arif Ezzat in the courtroom, according to court officials speaking anonymously. Presiding judge Mohammad Al-Orabi had ordered Ezzat's arrest on Thursday for contempt of court based on the lawyer's public criticisms of the court. Al-Orabi was told Sunday that Ezzat was in the courtroom by order of US officials attached to the court in an advisory capacity. AP has more.

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