Saddam 'ends hunger strike' Staff and AgenciesMonday February 27, 2006
Saddam Hussein has ended a hunger strike he staged in protest at his trial judge for "health reasons", it was reported today.
Khalil Dulaimi, the deposed dictator's chief lawyer, said his client had lost some weight after 11 days without food but did not elaborate on his physical condition.
"The president maintained his hunger strike for 11 days but was forced to end it for health reasons," he said.
The lawyer said US prison officials intervened with defence lawyers in order to "prevent any adverse health impact" from Saddam's protest.
The presiding judge, Raouf Abdel Rahman, has taken a tougher line with Saddam, his seven co-defendants and their defence teams, than his two predecessors.
He ordered Barzan al-Tikriti, Saddam's half-brother and former intelligence chief, to be removed from the courtroom. Since then, the defence team has refused to take part in the proceedings, claiming Mr Abdel Rahman is biased against the deposed regime because he was born in the gassed Kurdish town of Halabja.
In subsequent appearances, Barzan took the dock in long underwear to show disrespect to the judge and also claimed to be on a hunger strike.
Mr Dulaimi said he found Saddam in "high morale" during the time he spent deliberating defence strategy after the defence team walked out of the trial.
Saddam and the seven co-defendants are charged with the deaths of more than 140 people following a botched 1982 assassination attempt on the former president in the Shia Muslim town of Dujail.
If convicted, they could face the death penalty by hanging. Under a law passed late last year, death sentences must be carried out within a month of an appeal failing, regardless of any other pending charges.
Why do they let this moron go on a hunger strike... Just force feed him. Why to they let him take up the time of the court by protesting for hours? In America you would be taken out of the court room and put in a room with a CC TV so that you could still see your trial but not be able to interrupt it with babblings of mistreatment. MISTREATMENT? From a guy who authorized the torturing of thousands of people and probably did a couple himself? COME ON JUDGE...TELL HIM TO SHUT IT!