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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 October 2006, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
Judge throws Saddam out of court
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein has repeatedly been removed from court
The chief judge at Saddam Hussein's genocide trial has expelled the former Iraqi leader from court after he shouted out a verse from the Koran.

It is the fourth time in recent weeks the former dictator has been ejected from his Baghdad trial for alleged war crimes and genocide against the Kurds.

Judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa cut off Saddam Hussein's microphone and ordered bailiffs to escort him out.

A second defendant was also ejected and the trial continued in closed session.

The former Iraqi leader was heard to say "fight them and God will punish them" before the audio transmission was cut.

When the judge ordered Saddam thrown out of the court his co-defendants stood up to protest.

One of them, Hussein Rashid al-Tikriti, was ejected and punched a bailiff who had tried to force him into his seat.

Pregnant women

Before the session was disrupted, the court had heard from a Kurdish woman who gave her testimony from behind a screen about her time in the former regime's prison camps.

"One day men wearing protective uniforms and masks came to us," she said. "They sprayed us with something and after that we got lice in our hair and diseases like whooping cough.

"A number of children died. I spent six and a half months at this prison until being set free."

The witness also testified that pregnant women were treated inhumanely at the camps.

She said one woman had given birth in a toilet and that fellow detainees helped her "cut the umbilical cord with broken glass and the baby was wrapped in a grain sack".

Rape and murder

Another female witness later told of a young woman being raped and killed in detention by a warden, named as Jaafar al-Hillawi.

"He told her: 'You are mine.' She spat in his face," said the witness. "He tore her clothes and raped her in front of her parents, then he shot her.

"She remained alive for several minutes and then died."

Some of those abused by the warden committed suicide, according to the woman, who also said members of her own family disappeared during the crackdown.

The former Iraqi leader's lawyers are boycotting the trial in protest against what they say is interference by the Iraqi government.

Court-appointed lawyers have been attending in their place.

Saddam Hussein and six others, including his cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, are on trial over the killing of up to 180,000 Kurdish civilians during Operation Anfal in the 1980s.

Saddam Hussein has already been tried for the killing of 148 Shias in Dujail in 1982 and a judgement is awaited.

The trial is due to resume on Wednesday.

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