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UPDATED: 20:12, October 19, 2005
Saddam pleads not guilty to charges of crimes against humanity
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Iraq's former president Saddam Hussein and his seven aides and members of Baath Party have pleaded not guilty on Wednesday over charges of crimes against humanity in connection with Dujail massacre.

"I said what I said, I am not guilty and I am innocent," Saddam told the court when asked whether he is guilty or not after the Kurdish judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin read charges against him and his co-defendants.

All Saddam's seven co-defendants pleaded innocent.

Security was tight at the courtroom in the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad, where Saddam and his seven co-defendants faced trial for the murder of 143 Shiite countrymen in Dujail town, some 60 km north of the capital.

Source: Xinhua

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