BAGHDAD, Iraq – Prosecutors at Saddam Hussein's trial presented a document Tuesday they said was signed by the former leader approving the executions of more than 140 Shiites in southern Iraq after an assassination attempt in the 1980s.
The trial then was adjourned until Wednesday.
The document was among several presented by chief prosecutor Jaafar al-Moussawi concerning the killings of Shiites from the town of Dujail in 1982.
A memo from the Revolutionary Court, dated June 14, 1984, announced that 148 suspects had been sentenced to death by hanging and listed their names. The prosecutor said the signature on the memo was that of the court's head, Awad al-Bandar, one of Saddam's co-defendants.
A document dated two days later was a presidential order approving all 148 death sentences. The paper was signed by Saddam, al-Moussawi said, displaying the document with the signature on a screen in the court room.
The sentences were passed after an "imaginary trial," al-Moussawi told the court.
"None of the defendants were brought to court. Their statements were never recorded," he said.
The documents were presented after Saddam's lawyers ended their monthlong boycott of the tribunal.
The defense team's participation appeared to vindicate the tough approach chief judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman has taken since taking over the tribunal last month, pushing ahead with the proceedings even when the lawyers — and, at times, the defendants themselves — refused to attend.
Tuesday's session was one of the most orderly since the trial began in October. Saddam and his seven co-defendants entered the court and took their seats silently.