Caged Saddam Defiant in Not Guilty Plea
THE SADDAM TRIAL BEGINS
Trial postponed as witnesses do not show up for the defense!
Saddam Hussein, center, listens to the Presiding Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin as his trial begins in a heavily fortified courthouse in Baghdad’s Green Zone, Iraq, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2005. Saddam Hussein pleaded innocent to charges of premeditated murder and torture Wednesday, arguing with judges and challenging the legitimacy of the court. Seen in first row, from right , are Awad Hamad al-Bandar and Saddam Hussein. Second row, from right, Abdullah Kazim Ruwayyid, Mizhar Abdullah Ruwayyid and Taha Yassin Ramadan. Third row, from right, Barzan Ibrahim, Ali Dayim Ali and Mohammed Azawi Ali. (AP)
After just over three hours, the trial was adjourned until 28 November.
Saddam Hussein’s defence team had said they wanted a postponement to prepare their case, but Reuters news agency quoted the chief judge as saying the main reason was witnesses had not shown up.
The trial began in an imposing marble building that once served as the National Command Headquarters of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party, in the heavily fortified Green Zone in the Iraqi capital.
Amid some verbal sparring with the judge, the former Iraqi leader stated: “I preserve my constitutional rights as the president of Iraq. I do not recognise the body that has authorised you and I don’t recognise this aggression.
“What is based on injustice is unjust … I do not respond to this so-called court, with all due respect.”
Saddam Hussein’s co-accused are Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, his half-brother who was his intelligence chief; former Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan; Awad Hamed al-Bandar, a former chief judge; and Dujail Baath party officials Abdullah Kadhem Ruaid, Ali Daeem Ali, Mohammed Azawi Ali and Mizher Abdullah Rawed.
In Dujail, a few demonstrators gathered in the main square chanting: “Saddam Hussein should be executed, him and his whole family.”
In Dujail, Iraq those who were murdered by Saddam were remembered today.
Iraqis hold pictures of those killed during Saddam Hussein’s regime during a demonstration demanding his execution in Dujail, Iraq, Wednesday Oct. 19, 2005. Saddam and seven senior members of his regime are facing charges that they ordered the killing in 1982 of nearly 150 people in the mainly Shiite village of Dujail north of Baghdad after a failed attempt on the former dictator’s life. (AP)
You cannot miss Iraq the Model today. Mohammed gives a glimpse inside Iraq at the thoughts and feelings of Iraqis on this tyrant’s trial today.
Hat Tip Christine