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Judge bars Saddam's half-brother Barzan from court

Written by: Staff
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BAGHDAD, June 13 (Reuters) The chief judge in Saddam Hussein's trial barred the former Iraqi leader's half-brother and co-accused Barzan al-Tikriti from attending today's session after guards forced him out of court the day before.

''The court decided to continue keeping defendant Barzan away for his repeated violation of the order of the court,'' Chief Judge Raouf Abdel Rahman said as the trial resumed at a heavily-fortified courtroom in Baghdad.

Former intelligence chief Barzan, who like Saddam and six other defendants face charges of crimes against humanity, was forced out of court yesterday screaming ''This is a dictatorship'' after an argument with Rahman.

More defence witnesses took the stand today, and Rahman said it would be the last day for the defence to call witnesses. The trial started in October.

Another judge yesterday said two witnesses who testified for the former Iraqi leader said they had been forced to after their families had been threatened.

The eight defendants are accused over reprisals that led to the killing of 148 Shi'ite Muslim men after a failed assassination bid against Saddam in the village of Dujail north of Baghdad in 1982.

REUTERS KD PM1349

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