Saddam Hussein's genocide trial resumes

Saddam Hussein's genocide trial resumed Monday, one day after his defense lawyers announced they were boycotting the proceedings, citing alleged court violations.

Chief Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa presided over Monday's hearing, which resumed after a five-day break. Al-Khalifa replaced Abdullah al-Amiri last Wednesday after some Iraqi politicians accused him of allegedly favoring the defense.

Khalil al-Dulaimi, Saddam's chief lawyer, said late Sunday that he and other eight defense attorneys would boycott the trial "indefinitely" to protest al-Amiri's replacement and other alleged violations of judicial rules.

Al-Dulaimi also protested the court's refusal to hear non-Iraqi lawyers and its demand that foreign attorneys seek permission to enter the courtroom.

Saddam was present in the courtroom but it was unclear if any of the lawyers were there, reports AP.

Among Saddam's nine lawyers are a Jordanian, a Spaniard, a Frenchman and two Americans, including former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark.

Saddam and seven others have been on trial since Aug. 21 for a crackdown on Kurdish guerrillas in the late 1980s. The prosecution says about 180,000 people, mostly civilians, died in attacks that included the use of poison gas against Kurdish towns and villages in northern Iraq.

Saddam could face execution if convicted of genocide.