Relatives of defendants testify in Saddam trial

May 16, 2006 15:04

Relatives of defendants in the trial of Saddam Hussein and former members of his regime took the stand Tuesday as the defense tried to knock down charges of crimes against humanity that carry a possible death penalty by hanging. The testimony came a day after chief judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman announced the charges against Saddam and his seven co-defendants, bringing the 7-month-old trial to a new, intensified level. Under the Iraqi system, that effectively put the burden on proof on the defense to exonerate the defendants since the charges represent the accusations that the panel of five judges believe that the evidence so far has supported.

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