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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:44, March 01, 2006
Roundup: Saddam trial strands as 33 killed in Baghdad blasts
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The chief attorney defending Saddam Hussein walked out of the courtroom on Tuesday in protest against the chief judge's rejection to adjourn as bloodshed in Baghdad killed 33.

Khalil al-Dulaimi, chief of Saddam's defense team, walked out of the court room, shortly after the trial resumed Tuesday afternoon, after his request that the trial be postponed was rejected by Chief Judge Raouf Rasheed Abdul Rahman, Xinhua correspondent at the court said.

Saddam's half brother Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti quarreled with the judge over the court-appointed lawyers.

"If you do not obey the rules of the court, we will have you removed from the court," Judge Rahman warned.

The prosecution displayed a series of documents related to the execution of 148 Shiite villagers in Dujail of northern Iraq, following a failed attempt on Saddam's life in 1982.

Prosecutor Jaafar al-Moussawi first submitted to the court a document of death sentences passed by Saddam's tribunal and a death list of 148 civilians from Dujail, which was illegally signed by the then president Saddam on June 16, 1984.

The second document presented to the court was a letter dated on March 23, 1985, confirming the execution of the victims.

However, another document from Saddam's Revolutionary Court dated on March 23, 1985, said only 96 of the 148 listed people were executed at that time.

The prosecutor also displayed a document saying that more than 600 children and women from the families in Dujail were detained in the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.

Tuesday's session came after a two-week adjournment from Feb. 14.

Saddam and his seven co-defendants are tried on charges of crimes against humanity, including the killing of 148 Shiites in Dujail.

If convicted, Saddam could face death penalty.

Meanwhile, violence was still on the rise in the country.

Three explosions in quick succession hit Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 33 people and wounding over 70 others, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua.

The third explosion was the most fatal one, with 23 civilians killed and 47 others wounded, according to updated casualties provided by the source.

"The third blast was caused by a detonation of an explosive charge in the Amin district in southeastern Baghdad," said the source.

Just hours before Saddam's trial, a bomb explosion badly damaged the shrine over the grave of Saddam Hussein's father, early on Tuesday, a police source said.

"Several explosive charges were planted around the small mosque shrine over the grave of Saddam's father in Tikrit cemetery, detonated at about 6:20 a.m. (0320 GMT)," the source from Tikrit police told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The grave was located on the edge of the cemetery near Saddam's home village of Awjah, 10 km east of Tikrit.

Source: Xinhua


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