[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Monday, 22 May 2006, 12:51 GMT 13:51 UK
Lawyer thrown out of Saddam trial
Saddam Hussein and his co-defendants
Saddam Hussein and seven others are accused of killing 148 Shias
There have been angry outbursts at the trial of Saddam Hussein.

Chief Judge Raouf Abdel Rahman ordered guards to remove one of the defence lawyers from the courtroom.

Bushra Khalil and the judge argued when he told her to wait for her turn to speak. When she persisted, court guards threw her out.

Three defence witnesses were called on Monday. The trial has now been adjourned until Wednesday.

Deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and seven others face charges in connection with the killing of almost 150 Iraqi Shias in the town of Dujail.

They were killed after a 1982 assassination attempt on the then-president.

The defence began presenting its case last week.

Saddam protest

Ms Khalil, a Lebanese lawyer, had previously been thrown out of the court by the chief judge in April. Monday's court appearance was her first since then.

Ms Khalil tried to make a statement but was told to sit down by the judge.

When she insisted, the judge ordered guards to remove her from the court. As she was escorted away, Ms Khalil flung her lawyer's robe onto the floor.

Saddam Hussein protested to the judge about the lawyer's removal, but he too was told to be quiet.

"I am Saddam Hussein, president of Iraq. I am above all," the former Iraqi leader shouted back.

"You are a defendant, not a president," Judge Abdel Rahman said.

Defence witnesses

Three witnesses were called to testify by the defence on Monday.

Among them was Sabawi Ibrahim al-Tikriti, half-brother of Saddam Hussein who was called to testify for Saddam's co-defendant, former intelligence head Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti.

Another witness also testified for Mr Tikriti, this time from behind a screen to protect his identity.

And former Revolutionary Court employee Murshid Mohammed Jasim testified in open court on behalf of Awad Hamad al-Bandar. Mr Bandar is the former chief judge of the court, which sentenced 148 Shia men to death for the Dujail assassination attempt.

The prosecution says the trial was too fast and allowed no chance for defendants to appeal. It also says minors as young as 11 were among those convicted.

But Mr Jasim insisted Mr Bandar's court was "the most fair, the most just... [Mr Bandar] is a quiet, polite, fair man".

Mr Bandar asked his witness, sarcastically: "Did I ever kick any defence lawyer out of court?"

"No. You never did," Mr Jasim replied.


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific