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Saddam complains of double standard after witness killed

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] complained Tuesday that chief judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman [BBC profile] of the Iraqi High Criminal Court is not giving the defense in Hussein's trial [JURIST news archive] the same consideration the prosecution was given while presenting its case. Abdel-Rahman has decreased his tolerance for a string of defense witnesses who do not have direct knowledge of the charges against Hussein and his co-defendants [JURIST report]. Complaining that Abdel-Rahman is not giving the defense enough time to prepare and bring witnesses or advance evidence, Hussein said there was an "imbalance" between the prosecution and defense and insisted that the defense must be given the same opportunities the prosecution was given. Hussein's comments followed Abdel-Rahman's decision to make the defense submit a written request to play previously unmentioned videos in court, while Abdel-Rahman had immediately allowed the prosecution to play videos in court. Aljazeera has more.

Also Tuesday, one of the defense lawyers said that a witness who took the stand earlier in the trial has been killed, highlighting the difficulties the defense faces in effectively representing Hussein and his seven co-defendants. Though it was not revealed which witness was killed, the lawyer did complain about added restrictions placed on the defense's ability to call witnesses and indicated that the defense could not call several possible witnesses because they are wanted by the US military and Iraqi government. AP has more.

4:07 PM ET - As testimony continued Tuesday, a defense witness testified that some of the 148 Dujail villagers sentenced to death [execution order] in connection to an 1982 assassination attempt against Hussein were never executed but instead fled the country, returning only after Hussein's regime was overthrown in 2003. Reuters has more.

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