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Saddam's trial: Secret witness deposes
December 06, 2005 16:29 IST
Last Updated: December 06, 2005 16:44 IST
The special Iraqi court conducting the trial of former President Saddam Hussein resumed on Tuesday where Witness A - an unidentified woman - gave evidence of the torture inflicted during his regime from behind a blue screen and with her voice disguised.
The audio-feed to the media was cut to enable the woman to depose freely.
The woman, who began her testimony by reciting a Shi'ite Muslim religious verse, was stopped mid-way by Presiding Judge Rizkar Mohammad Amin and asked to present her facts straightaway. She said that her brother and other family members had been 'taken away' by Saddam's forces.
She broke down while relating how she had been forced to strip in custody by Wadah al-Sheik, an Iraqi intelligence officer who died of cancer last month.
The woman said she was thrown into a room with red walls and ceiling in an intelligence department building where prisoners were given only bread and water to eat.
Her testimony was halted after defense lawyers complained that the equipment distorting her voice made it difficult for them to understand her. This forced Amin to suspend the hearing for 10 minutes to enable the technical glitch to be corrected.
Sources observing the proceedings said other unidentified witnesses would testify on delayed television footage with their voices disguised for security reasons.
It may be recalled that the first witness - Ahmed Hassan Mohammed, a resident of Dujail told the court on Monday how he and others, including women and children, were rounded up and sent to the intelligence headquarters in Baghdad, where they were tortured.
The defence team later staged a walkout led by former US Attorney-General Ramsey Clark, complaining that their objections were not being registered.
Saddam has been accused along with seven others of crimes against humanity and killing of over 140 men from the Shi'ite village of Dujail after a failed assassination attempt on him in 1982.