Judge Declares End to Hearing of Defense Witnesses in Saddam Trial

The chief judge declared an end to the hearing of defense witnesses in the trial of Saddam Hussein on Tuesday and said the prosecution will present its closing argument next week.

The declaration came despite complaints by the defense team that it has had the freedom to properly present its case and that many of its motions were not ruled on by chief judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman.

"You've presented 62 witnesses. If that's not enough to present your case, then 100 won't work," Abdel-Rahman told defense lawyer Khamis al-Obeidi. "I've finished hearing witnesses. God willing, it will all end fine."

"God willing," al-Obeidi said sullenly.

Abdel-Rahman adjourned the trial until Monday, when he said the prosecution would present its closing arguments. He said the defense would give its final statement on July 10.

Presumably after that, the court would adjourn to consider its verdicts in the trial of Saddam and seven former members of his regime.