Timeline: Saddam on trial

Saddam Hussein appeared in court for his trial on Monday, having boycotted earlier sessions, saying he was forced to attend. He immediately relaunched the type of tirades that have dominated the months-long proceedings.

    The trial was adjourned until Tuesday

    Here is a short chronology of main events so far in the trial of the former Iraqi president and seven co-defendants: 
    19 October 2005: Saddam goes on trial charged with crimes against humanity for the killing of 148 Shi'ite men after an assassination attempt against him in 1982. Pleads not guilty. Trial adjourned to 28 November.

    20 October: Saadoun Janabi, lawyer for co-defendant, former judge Awad al-Bander, is seized from office and killed.
    8 November: Gunmen fire on car carrying Adil al-Zubeidi, who is killed, and Thamer Hamoud al-Khuzaie, who is wounded. Both are on team defending Saddam's half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti and Taha Yassin Ramadan, former vice-president. Khuzaie flees Iraq.
    28 November: Saddam harangues judge from dock. Trial adjourns to 5 December to grant co-defendants time to find new counsel.
    05 December: Saddam's lawyers briefly leave courtroom after being denied chance to challenge court's legitimacy. Saddam denounces trial as public relations exercise after witnesses tell of horrors committed during his rule.
    06 December: The first woman to testify against Saddam recounts how she was treated during weeks of interrogation.
    07 December: Saddam stays away after telling tribunal to "go to hell" the night before. Court proceeds without him.
    21 December: Saddam says he was tortured in US custody.
    22 December: Trial adjourned to 24 January.
    25 December: Defence seeks inquiry into Saddam's torture claim.
    10 January 2006: Chief judge Rizgar Amin submits resignation.
    16 January: Court names Sayeed al-Hamashi, Amin's deputy, to step in on 24 January and he appears set to be permanent replacement.

    18 January: Iraq's Debaathification Commission says Hamashi is former member of Saddam's Baath party and should be barred, a charge he has denied.

    23 January: Raouf Abdel Rahman named temporary chief judge and Hamashi moved to other court.
    24 January: Session postponed to 29 January. Spokesman cites absent witnesses. Lawyers speak of division among judges.
    29 January: Chaos erupts when trial resumes. Barzan al-Tikriti is ejected after refusing to keep quiet and calling the trial "a daughter of a whore". Saddam and his team walk out in protest.
    01 February: Saddam and four co-accused refuse to attend, along with their defence team, who say they will not return until chief judge they accuse of bias resigns. Chief judge Rahman says he will proceed without them and court-appointed lawyers replace Saddam's team. Five prosecution witnesses are heard.
    02 February 2006: Trial resumes with the testimony of two witnesses, however Chief Judge Abdel Rahman adjourns the trial until 13 February after Saddam and his team failed to show up for a second day.

    13 February: Saddam appears in court as his trial resumes. He refused an offer of new court-appointed lawyers to replace his defence team, which is still staging a boycott.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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