Critical points in the Saddam trial

Saddam Hussein was first charged with crimes against humanity in October 1995. Below is a chronology of events in the trial.

    The eight defendants sit in the dock of the Iraqi court

    October 19, 2005: Saddam charged with crimes against humanity for the killing of 148 Shia men after a 1982 assassination attempt against him in the town of Dujail. Pleads not guilty.

    October 20: Saadun Janabi, lawyer for co-defendant former judge Awad al-Bandar, is seized from his office and killed.

    November 8: Armed men fire on car carrying Adil al-Zubaidi, who is killed, and Thamir Hamud al-Khuzaie, who is wounded. Both are on the team defending Saddam's half-brother, Barzan al-Tikriti, and Taha Yasin Ramadan, the former vice president. Al-Khuzaie flees Iraq.

    December 7: Saddam stays away from the hearing after telling the tribunal to "go to hell" the night before. Hearing continues without him.

    December 21: Saddam complains he was tortured in US custody. Four days later the defence seeks an inquiry into the claims.

    January 10, 2006: Chief judge Rizgar Amin resigns.

    January 16: Court asks Amin's deputy, Said al-Hamashi, to step in. Two days later, Iraq's Debaathification Commission says al-Hamashi is a former member of the Baath party and should be barred; he denies it.

    January 23: Rauf Abd al-Rahman is named temporary chief judge and al-Hamashi is moved to another court.

    January 29: Chaos erupts when trial resumes. Al-Tikriti is ejected after refusing to keep quiet and calling the court "a daughter of a whore". Saddam and his team walk out in protest. Saddam appears when trial resumes on February 13.

    February 14: Saddam walks into court shouting slogans, saying he and his co-accused have been on hunger strike for three days.

    February 28: Saddam's lawyers walk out after their pleas for expulsion of the judge and a postponement are rejected.

    March 1: Saddam acknowledges he ordered trials that led to the execution of dozens of Shia in the 1980s but says he acted within the law. "Where is the crime?" he asks.

    March 15: Saddam takes the stand, denounces the court as a "comedy" and urges Iraqis to fight "invaders", prompting the judge to bar reporters from the court.

    April 4: The court announces that Saddam will stand trial on new charges of genocide in the case called the al-Anfal campaign in which thousands of Kurds were killed in the late 1980s.

    May 15: Saddam refuses to enter a plea as his trial resumes, after he is formally charged with ordering the killing and torture of hundreds of Shia villagers. He tells the judge he is still Iraq's president.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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