Unruly Saddam returned to court under duress Holly Manges Jones at 7:20 AM ET
[JURIST] Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] returned to court in Baghdad Monday, though he claimed in several outbursts that his appearance was forced. The former Iraqi dictator called the court trying him for crimes against humanity a "game" because it was formed during the US occupation of Iraq and demanded that the presiding judge sentence him in absentia since he was not willingly present. Hussein also refused to accept a new team of court-appointed lawyers to represent him because his usual group of defense lawyers walked out [JURIST report] last month in protest of the newly appointed [JURIST report] Judge Ra'uf Rasheed Abdel-Rahman [BBC profile], who is now presiding over the trial [JURIST news archive].
Hussein's interruptions continued while the judge read witness testimony against him to the court, with Hussein arguing that the witnesses were politically motivated. Two witnesses also appeared in court, though they too said their presence was compelled and refused to offer testimony. Proceedings have now been adjourned [BBC report] until Tuesday. Reuters has more.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.