Saddam Hussein’s trial resumes today in Baghdad. The former Iraqi president is accused of crimes against humanity. After assassinations of defence lawyers, a plot to kill the Chief Investigator and threats against witnesses, security in the courtroom in Baghdad is tight.
Some evidence will be heard from behind protective screens. Critics have accused Saddam Hussein of ordering mass killings and widespread torture over decades, but the legal charges brought against him so far refer to one specific incident.
He and the other defendants are charged with ordering the deaths of 148 people in a town north of Baghdad in 1982.
The trial has been suspended for 40 days due to security problems – one defence lawyer was murdered the day after the trial began and another in early November, throwing proceedings into chaos. A third defence lawyer fled Iraq after death threats.
Another adjournment is possible. One defence lawyer said the team would seek at least a further three-month postponement.