[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 July 2006, 11:19 GMT 12:19 UK
Saddam 'forced' back to his trial
Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein
Saddam has been on hunger strike because of attacks on his lawyers
Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who had been on hunger strike, says he was taken to court from his hospital bed against his will.

He was taken to hospital on Sunday because of his hunger strike, which he reportedly began on 7 July in protest at the killing of three of his lawyers.

He said if he was found guilty and faced death, he would like to be shot, not hanged "like a common criminal".

The trial resumed on Monday without him as he was being treated in hospital.

On Wednesday, Saddam Hussein appeared in front of the court, looking slightly thinner and said: "I was brought against my will directly from the hospital... The Americans insisted that I come against my will. This is not fair.

"Three days ago I was taken to hospital and today I was brought here forcibly from the hospital. I was fed intravenously," he said.

Later in the hearing, he said: "I ask you being an Iraqi person that if you reach a verdict of death, execution, remember that I am a military man and should be killed by firing squad and not by hanging as a common criminal."

Lawyer boycott

His defence team has been boycotting the trial and replacement lawyers have been named.

Saddam Hussein told the chief judge he rejected the lawyers appointed by the court to defend him.

"Your honour, I refuse to appear before this tribunal, but this tribunal can do as it wills," he added.

Judge Abdel Rahman responded: "Your lawyers were informed of the hearing and they chose not to come, despite the fact that they have billions of dollars and sit in a neighbouring country, where they incite violence."

Most of Saddam Hussein's legal team is based in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

The former president and seven co-defendants are on trial charged with crimes against humanity. They all deny the charges.

The prosecution has called for the execution of the former president and two others for the deaths of 148 villagers during a crackdown in the village of Dujail after an assassination attempt in 1982.




FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific