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Saddam Back in Court as Trial Resumes in Baghdad

The trial of Saddam Hussein resumed Wednesday morning in Baghdad.

Saddam and seven co-defendants are on trial for - among other crimes - the murder of 140 Shi'ite villagers from Dujail. The murders took place in 1982, after a failed assassination attempt on Saddam, as his convoy passed through the town.

Witness Ali al-Haidari told the court of murder and torture at the hands of Saddam's security forces, after the assassination attempt in 1982. Mr. al-Haidari told the court he was imprisoned for four years, beginning at the age of 14, with the rest of his family.

He also told the court that Saddam was responsible for the murder of his seven brothers, as revenge for the assassination attempt.

Wednesday's testimony comes on the first day of the trial since the court broke for the Iraqi parliament elections, December 15.

Saddam had refused to attend the last session, December 7. The previous day he told the court to go to hell and challenged its legitimacy.

The trial is taking place in Baghdad's American protected Green Zone, amidst tight security. Two defense lawyers for the eight defendants have been murdered in Baghdad. Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark - one of Saddam's attorneys - did not attend Wednesday's tribunal, because of security concerns.

The trial is set to continue Thursday and is expected to last for months.