Saddam defense witness says court was fair

Defense witnesses argued on Monday that Saddam Hussein's regime was justified in a crackdown on Shiites after a 1982 assassination attempt and that 148 people sentenced to death in the attack got a fair trial. During the session, chief judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman threw out of the court a man in the audience who the defense said was a member of a Shiite militia who had threatened lawyers in the past. One of the defense lawyers complained to Abdel-Rahman about the man, saying he was whispring to another person in the audience "and is pointing at me." "He is a member of the Badr Brigade," the lawyer said, referring to a militia linked to one fo the Shiite parties in Iraq's governing coalition. "He once threated one of my collegues, who had to quit because of it." Abdel-Rahman ordered the man in the audience to leave the court.