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Saddam's genocide trial resumes without defence lawyers

Published 25/09/2006

Saddam Hussein's genocide trial in Baghdad has resumed today without any defence lawyers present in the courtroom.

Yesterday, the former Iraq President's nine-member defence team announced their intention to boycott the proceedings due to the replacement of the chief judge and other alleged violations of legal procedures.

The judge was replaced earlier this month at the behest of the prosecution due to alleged bias in favour of Saddam.

The ousted dictator and a number of co-defendants are facing a possible death sentence if convicted of genocide and other crimes against humanity in connection with a military crackdown on Kurds in the late 1980s.

The prosecution says up to 180,000 people, the vast majority of them civilians, were killed during the offensive, which involved the use of chemical weapons.

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