Saddam Hussein trial resumes after two week hiatus

Saddam Hussein showed up Wednesday for the resumption of his trial two weeks after he refused to attend the last session, saying he would not appear before an "unjust" court. Saddam and seven co-defendants are on trial in the deaths of more than 140 Shi'ite Muslims following a 1982 assassination attempt against him in the town of Dujail, north of Baghdad. It was Saddam's first court appearance following last week's election, when Iraqis swarmed to the polls to vote for the country's first full-term parliament since his downfall. The chief prosecutor in the case, Jaafar al-Mousawi told The Associated Press by telephone on Tuesday that five prosecution witnesses were ready to take the stand on Wednesday. It would be up to the court to decided whether to hear all of them, he said. It was unclear how many more prosecution witnesses, if any, would follow. The court - which held its first session October 19 - has so far heard nine witnesses, who often gave emotional testimonies of random arrests, hunger and beatings while in custody and torture in detention.