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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 October 2005, 20:13 GMT 21:13 UK
Saddam trial lawyer is kidnapped
Saddam Hussein during his court appearance on Wednesday
Saddam pleaded not guilty
Gunmen have kidnapped one of the lawyers involved in the trial of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Sadoun Nasouaf al-Janavi was taken from his office in eastern Baghdad.

He is acting for one of Saddam Hussein's co-defendants, Awad Hamed al-Bandar. One report said seven other people were seized at the same time.

In a defiant appearance at his trial on Wednesday, Saddam Hussein pleaded not guilty to charges over the killing of 148 people in a Shia town in 1982.

Mr Janavi was one of 13 defence lawyers believed to have been present in the courtroom.

Identities and the faces of four of the five judges have been kept secret to ensure their safety.

The names of the chief judge and the top prosecutor were the only ones revealed.

Saddam Hussein refused to confirm his identity, telling the presiding judge: "Who are you? What is all this?"

All eight defendants pleaded not guilty to charges of ordering the killing of 148 Shia men in 1982. If convicted, they could face the death penalty.

The trial was adjourned until 28 November.


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