It was a subdued affair, compared with the unruly scenes that had characterised previous hearings in the trial of Saddam Hussein. Emerging from a reported hunger strike, the former dictator refrained from grandstanding.
He and his aides have been disputing documents that prosecutors say prove they were responsible for a deadly crackdown in the town of Dujail in 1982. However Saddam conceded he had ordered the razing of farms belonging to people deemed to have been behind an attempt on his life in Dujail.
He and his co-defendants deny direct responsibility for the execution of 148 people in connection with the incident. It was the second day of hearings after a two-week break in the trial. The ex-leader urged the court to free his co-accused, saying only he should be made to answer for the actions of his government.