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Hussein laughs amid courtroom chaos

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Ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein appears to be amused by Monday's court proceedings.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Saddam Hussein smiled and laughed as a half-brother testified in his defense Monday, comparing the U.S. military's 2004 assault on insurgents in Falluja to the bloody crackdown on Shiites allegedly ordered by the then-Iraqi leader in 1982 after a failed assassination attempt.

Hussein and seven co-defendants are charged in connection with the detention, torture and killing of dozens of Shiites in Dujail, a town north of Baghdad.

Nearly 150 Shiites, some of them teenagers, were executed and hundreds more jailed in the crackdown.

Sabawi Hassan Ibrahim told the court that Hussein was not an aggressive man and that he remained calm after the Dujail assassination attempt.

While not mentioning Falluja by name, the defense witness appeared to be referring to the western Iraqi city, which he said U.S. troops "wiped off the map" after four Americans were killed there.

Attorney ejected

Near the start of Monday's session, an attorney for the former Iraqi president was thrown out of the courtroom only minutes after she had been readmitted following her ejection in April.

Bushra Khalil was removed from the Iraqi Special Tribunal after ignoring the chief judge's admonition to remain silent.

In April, Khalil was thrown out of the courtroom after holding up pictures that she said showed U.S. troops abusing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison. She said to Hussein, "Look what they are doing to your country."

On Monday, the judge, Raouf Abdel-Rahman, told her she would need to behave properly this time and remain silent. Khalil refused and removed her robe, throwing it in the direction of the judge.

Two guards then took her out of the courtroom.

Hussein stood up and tried to defend her, but Abdel-Rahman told him to sit down.

"You will remain silent. You are a defendant," the judge said.

"I am Saddam Hussein and nothing is going to change that," the ousted leader said.

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