Saddam Appears in Baghdad Court This Morning

JULY 1, 2004 - Posted at 7:17 a.m. CDT

BAGHDAD, IRAQ - News reports say Saddam Hussein has refused to sign a legal document outlining the charges against him.

CNN is reporting the court hearing is over.

A CNN reporter who was in the courtroom says the toppled Iraqi president was alternatively downcast and defiant.

The judge read seven preliminary charges against Saddam, including the 1990 invasion of Kuwait.  But Saddam defended the invasion.

He also told the court that "this is all theater," and that "the real criminal is Bush."

CNN says Saddam was handcuffed, with a chain around his waist, while being transported to the court but the cuffs and chain were removed before he entered the courtroom.  His feet were not shackled.

Saddam was also dressed in civilian clothes, his beard neatly trimmed.

Twice during the hearing, Saddam identified himself as Saddam Hussein, the president of Iraq.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)