The judge presiding over the first trial of Saddam Hussein adjourned the proceedings until November 28, granting the defense request for a delay, after the former Iraqi leader entered a not guilty plea.
Hussein and his seven co-defendants were charged with ordering the killings and torture of more than 140 Iraqis in Dujail in 1982 following an attempt to assassinate Hussein when he was visiting the town. Hussein and the others answered "innocent" when the presiding judge, Rizgar Amin, asked for their pleas.
Speaking to reporters later, Raed Juhi, chief investigative judge of the tribunal, said the adjournment was made after a defense request amid concerns over case files. Hussein's lead attorney, Khalil Dulaimi, told CNN he wanted a continuance of at least three months because the majority of the defense lawyers are not sufficiently experienced in international law and in cases of this magnitude.
He also said the defense team wasn't informed about the start of the trial until about three weeks ago -- which he said was in violation of the Iraqi Special Tribunal, the CNN reports.