The trial of Saddam Hussein and seven other co-accused has resumed in Baghdad.
New judge Raouf Abdel Rahman opened the eighth session after a five-day postponement following the resignation of the previous judge, who complained at government interference.
One of Abdel Rahman’s first rulings was to eject Saddam’s former intelligence chief Barzan al-Tikriti from the courtroom, after he had made several noisy protests and called the trial the “daughter of a whore”.
Saddam again proved to be a difficult defendent, repeatedly interrupting proceedings and using the trial as a platform for speech-making. The judge ordered the court to provide him with defence lawyers, but they did not last long before they left the courtroom. There followed an increasingly angry exchange between Saddam and the judge before the former dictator also left. Judge Abdel Rahman’s brief is to restore public confidence in the trial, which has been dominated by Saddam Hussein’s tirades.