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Defiant Saddam Appears in Iraqi Court to Hear Charges - 2004-07-02


A defiant Saddam Hussein has appeared in an Iraqi court to face charges related to his brutal 24-year rule.

During the proceedings, Saddam refused to sign a legal document that outlined the charges, defended the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, denounced the process as "theater," and said President Bush was the real criminal.

Saddam and 11 of his former top aides appeared separately before the tribunal to hear criminal charges against them.

The charges include the killings of political and religious figures in Iraq, brutal suppression of Kurdish and Shi'ite uprisings, the chemical attack on the Kurdish village of Halabja in 1988, and the 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

The proceedings were videotaped and later aired worldwide. It was the first time Saddam has been seen publicly since his capture in December.

The hearing took place under extremely tight security at a U.S. military base on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Information for this report is provided Reuters and AFP.

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