Witness at Saddam trial tells of abuse
Updated: 2005-12-06 21:04
A woman whose identity was kept secret and voice masked took the stand in the
trial of Saddam Hussein on Tuesday, testifying through tears that Saddam's men
beat her as a teenager and forced her to take her clothes off.
Seen through a row of Iraqi judges, former
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, front right, stands during the start of
his trial along with Awad Hamed al-Bandar, front left, Taha Yassin
Ramadan, 2nd row left, Abdullah Kazim Ruwayyid, 2nd row center, Mizhar
Abdullah Ruwayyid, 2nd row right, Mohammed Azawi Ali, back row left, Ali
Dayim Ali, back row center, and Barazan Ibrahim in Baghdad, Tuesday Dec.
6, 2005. Saddam and seven others face charges that they ordered the
killing in 1982 of nearly 150 people in the mainly Shiite village of
Dujail, north of Baghdad, after a failed attempt on the former dictators
Saddam sat stone-faced as the woman, identified only as "Witness A," told the
court from behind a light blue curtain that she was taken into custody after the
1982 assassination attempt against the former Iraqi president in the town of
The woman often cried during her testimony and repeatedly said she was forced
to undress, implying that she had been raped but not saying so outright.
"I begged them, but they hit with their pistols," she said. "They made me put
my legs up. There were five or more and they treated me like a banquet."
"Is that what happens to the virtuous woman that Saddam speaks about?" she
wept, prompting the judge to advise her to stick to the facts.
The woman, who said she was 16 at the time of the Dujail incident, said Wadah
al-Sheik, an Iraqi intelligence officer who died of cancer last month, ordered
her to take off her clothes.
"He continued administering electric shocks and beating me," she said.