Saddam Hussein refused to enter court on Wednesday, bringing his often chaotic trial to yet another halt until the judge decided to press on without him.
After telling the court to “go to hell” the night before, the former president effectively boycotted the fifth session of his trial after spending most of the day in talks with lawyers in a battle of wills with the Kurdish presiding judge.
Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin eventually opted to push ahead with proceedings and heard testimony from two witnesses before adjourning until Dec. 21 — six days after next week’s election for the first full parliament of the post-Saddam era.
Amin said he would use the two-week break to consider a defence motion to review the way evidence was given.
One of Saddam’s defence lawyers said Saddam would attend when the court reconvenes after the election, although it was not clear whether the former leader had told him that.