Saddam prosecutors introduce 1984 execution order as troubled trial resumes

[JURIST] The trial of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] resumed in Baghdad Tuesday with prosecutors at the Iraqi High Criminal Court - formerly the Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website] - continuing to present their case on charges of murder, torture, forced expulsions and illegal imprisonment stemming from a crackdown on villagers in Dujail [JURIST report] following a 1982 assassination attempt on Hussein. Prosecutors introduced a document signed by the former dictator which approved the executions of 148 Shiites by hanging. Chief prosecutor Jaafar al-Moussawi said the death sentences were handed down without the defendants ever being brought to court for trial. Also admitted into evidence was a 1984 Revolutionary Court memo which detailed the names of the 148 suspects and was signed by one of Saddam's co-defendants, Awad al-Bandar, who was then head of the court. AP has more.

The documents were presented as defense lawyers ended a month-long boycott [JURIST report] of the trial by returning to court Tuesday. Their return was short-lived, however, as two lawyers walked out [Reuters report] after chief judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman [BBC profile, JURIST report] began Tuesday's session by declining a defense request [JURIST report] to remove himself and Moussawi from the trial. Hussein's lawyers, who petitioned for the judge and prosecutor to be removed due to bias, said they would appeal the decision. Defense lawyers also asked for a one-month adjournment, but the judge refused and proceedings will resume Wednesday. AP has more.

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