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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 July 2006, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
Saddam to learn fate in October
Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein did not appear in court for the final day
The trial of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity has been adjourned until 16 October when a verdict is expected.

The ex-president did not appear in court for the final session of his trial on Thursday.

Prosecutors want the death penalty for Saddam Hussein and two of the seven other defendants. All deny the charges.

On Wednesday, the former leader told the trial he wanted to be shot, not hanged, if he was condemned to die.

Shooting was the appropriate means of execution for a military man like himself, he said.

He also protested that he had been taken to court against his will.

Saddam Hussein is due to stand trial on 21 August to judge his part in the mass killings of Iraqi Kurds in the 1980s during the notorious Anfal campaign.


Two defendants appeared in court on Thursday.

Former Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan refused to allow the court-appointed lawyer to represent him.

"I do not know who this lawyer is or his name," he said.

The other is Awad Hamad al-Bandar, the former chief judge of the court.

Chief Judge Raouf Abdel Rahman once again criticised the defence lawyers for staying away from court.

Saddam Hussein's defence team has been boycotting the trial to demand tighter security, after the deaths of their three colleagues, and replacement lawyers have been named.

"They're sitting abroad now generating fame by issuing political statements on television stations as if this case is a political one. This behaviour will harm you, the defendants. This is a criminal case, not a political one," Mr Rahman said.

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

His trial began in Baghdad last October.

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