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Saddam's Handwriting Scrutinized in Trial

  • VOA News

The trial of Saddam Hussein resumed Monday, as prosecutors presented findings from handwriting experts confirming the authenticity of Saddam's signature on documents linked to a crackdown on Shi'ites in the 1980s.

Defense lawyers challenged the findings. They argued the experts were employees of the Interior Ministry and demanded the court use experts from outside Iraq.

The chief judge (Raouf Abdel Rahman) adjourned the trial until Wednesday to allow more time to examine the handwriting.

The ousted Iraqi dictator and seven co-defendants are on trial for the 1982 killing of more than 140 Iraqi Shi'ites in the village of Dujail.

The trial developments came as Iraqi leaders postponed a legislative session scheduled for today (Monday) because of the lingering impasse over who will head the next government.

The main parties have been deadlocked since December.

The Shi'ites, with the largest bloc in parliament, have been resisting Sunni Arab and Kurdish demands that the Shi'ites replace Ibrahim al-Jaafari as their nominee for prime minister. The Shi'ites, in turn, are rejecting the Sunni candidates for parliament speaker and other government posts.

In other news, Iraqi police found 12 bullet-riddled bodies in different parts of Baghdad. And, Iraqi soldiers and insurgents clashed early today in a mainly Sunni Arab district of the capital.

Also, Iraqi police found the body of the brother of a top Sunni Arab politician three weeks after he disappeared. Police say Taha al-Mutlaq had been shot in the head.

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