Monday, February 13, 2006
By HAMZA HENDAWI, Associated Press Writer -- Monday, 29 minutes ago
BAGHDAD, Iraq - , left, was forced to attend the latest session of his trial Monday, looking haggard and wearing a traditional robe rather than his usual crisp suit as he shouted "Down with Bush." His top co-defendant struggled with guards bringing him into the court.
Saddam and his seven co-defendants had vowed not to attend the trial until the return of their lawyers. The defense team has said it is boycotting the proceedings until chief judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman is removed, alleging he is biased against their clients.
Saddam entered the courtroom on his own at the start of Monday's session, but he looked weary and argued immediately with the judge, shouting slogans against .
"They have forcibly brought me here," he told Abdel-Rahman. "Exercise your right to try me in absentia."
Saddam shouted, "Down with the agents. Down with Bush. Long live the nation," as he entered the room. He wore a blue galabeya -- a traditional Arab robe -- and a black jacket, a stark contrast to the tailored black suits he has worn to past sessions.
Next, co-defendant Barzan Ibrahim was brought in by guards holding him by the arms. Ibrahim, Saddam's half-brother and former intelligence chief, struggled with the guards while shouting angrily.
He tried to address the judge, but Abdel-Rahman ordered the guards to seat him in his chair. Ibrahim refused and sat on the floor with his back to the judge.
Ibrahim was bare-headed, in contrast to past sessions when he wore an Arab headscarf, which he had argued was necessary to preserve his dignity.
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Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage: www.haigler.info
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