The trial of Saddam Hussein and his seven aides or members of the Baath Party started in Baghdad on Wednesday, over charges including crimes against humanity in connection with the Dujail massacre.
The trial got under way shortly after 12:00 p.m. (0900 GMT) when Saddam, who was wearing a suit and accompanied with guards, appeared in the courtroom in the heavily fortified Green Zone, local TV reported.
His aides were wearing traditional Arab clothes.
According to TV footage broadcast from the courtroom, Saddam refused to give his name while being asked to answer questions from the panel of five judges led by chief judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin, a Kurd in his late 40s from the northern city of Sulaimaniyah.
"I don't acknowledge either the entity that authorizes you nor the aggression because everything based on falsehood is falsehood, " Saddam said, describing himself as the "president of Iraq."
"I don't recognize this court nor the party which appointed it (Americans and new Iraqi government)," defiant Saddam said.
"What was built on injustice is invalid," he added, in an apparent challenge to the legitimacy of the court.
Saddam ruled Iraq from 1968 until 2003 when he was toppled by the US-led forces in April 2003 and then captured by US troops in December the same year.
After being kept in US custody for nearly two years, Saddam, 68, faces trials for his alleged crimes against his countrymen during his rule.
If convicted, Saddam would be put to death.