Iraqi authorities put Saddam and seven other former Iraqi officials on trial on October 19, 2005 four days after the October 15, 2005 referendum on the new constitution. The tribunal specifically charged the defendants with the killing of 143 Shiites from Dujail, in retaliation for the failed assassination attempt of 8 July 1982. Supporters of Saddam protested against the trial in Tikrit.
Saddam's co-defendants are:
* Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, his half-brother and former chief of intelligence
* Taha Yassin Ramadan, former Vice-President
* Awad Hamed al-Bandar Al-S'adun, a former chief judge
* Abdullah Kadhem Roweed Al-Musheikhi, Al-Dujail Baath party official
* Mizher Abdullah Roweed Al-Musheikhi, (son of Abdullah Kadhem), Al-Dujail Baath party official
* Ali Daeem Ali, Dujail Baath party official
* Mohammed Azawi Ali, Dujail Baath party official
As in his pre-trial appearance, Saddam at the opening of his trial on October 19 appeared defiant and rejected the tribunal's legitimacy and independence from the control of foreign occupation. "I do not respond to this so-called court, with all due respect to its people, and I retain my constitutional right as the president of Iraq," Hussein declared. He added, "Neither do I recognize the body that has designated and authorized you, nor the aggression because all that has been built on false basis is false."
When the judge asked for his name, Saddam said "I am the president of the Iraq", refused to state his name, but returned the question, asking Kurdish judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin, "Who are you? I want to know who you are." When Amin addressed Saddam as "the former president," Saddam objected emphatically, saying he was still the President of the Republic of Iraq and had not been deposed.
While Saddam's seven co-defendants appeared in traditional Arabic male dress, Saddam wore a dark suit and a white shirt. Al-Bandar, sitting next to Saddam in the front row in a pen of white metal bars, complained that the defendants had been stripped of their head-coverings, upon which they were given back to them.
After the charges were read to them, all eight defendants pleaded not guilty. The first session of his trial lasted three hours. The court adjourned the case until 28 November 2005, as some of the witnesses were too frightened to attend, and also to allow the defense more time to study evidence. During an interview with the Arab news agency al-Arabiya following the opening of the trial, Hussein's eldest daughter Raghad branded the court a "farce" and boasted that her father behaved like a "lion" during the proceedings. "My father is brave, a lion, I am proud of him," she said. "He is a man who dedicated his life to serve his country, he was brave in his youth, so how can he be afraid now?" she added.
On October 20, 2005, attorney Saadoun Sughaiyer al-Janabi, charged with the defense of Awad Hamed al-Bandar, was abducted from his office by gunmen, and found shot dead near his office a few hours later.
On November 8, 2005, attorney Adel al-Zubeidi, who had been representing Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan and Abdullah Kazim Ruwayyid, was killed by three gunmen in Baghdad. Barazan Ibrahim's lawyer Thamer Hamoud al-Khuzaie was also wounded in the attack.
On November 28, 2005, Chief Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin adjourned the trial until December 5 to allow time to find replacements for two defense lawyers who were slain and another who fled Iraq after he was wounded. On December 5, Saddam's legal defense team stormed out of the court after questioning its legitimacy and asking about return of defence papers seized by U.S. Army troops and security issues regarding the protection of the defense. Saddam, along with his co-defendants, railed against Chief Judge Amin and the tribunal. The next day, after listening to hours of testimony against him, he lashed out at the judge. He said he was exhausted, did not intend on returning to the trial, and to "go to hell."
On December 7, 2005, Saddam refused to enter court, complaining of the conditions in which he was being held and the conduct of the trial. Saddam's complaints included, among other things, that he had not been able to change his clothes for four days.
On December 12, 2005, Instead of cross-examining witnesses, Saddam used the time to accuse his American captors of torturing him, saying, "I have been beaten on every place of my body, and the signs are all over my body."
On January 23, 2006, Rauf Rashid Abd al-Rahman was nominated interim chief judge of the tribunal. He replaces former chief judge Rizgar Amin, also a Kurd, who resigned after complaining of government interference. Hussein and his co-defendants objected to the change in judge, citing bias after he ordered defendant Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti out of the court, and announced they would boycott the trial under Rahman. On February 1 they failed to show up to court.
On March 15, 2006, Saddam was called by the prosecution as a witness. On the stand, he began making political statements, insisting he was still President of Iraq. He got in an argument with the judge, who eventually closed the trial to the public in response.
On June 19, 2006, Chief Prosecutor Jaafar al-Moussawi called for the death penalty for Saddam and four other defendants including Barzan al-Tikriti, Saddam's half-brother, Taha Yassin Ramadan, former Iraqi Vice President and Awad Hamed al-Bander, former chief judge of Saddam's Revolutionary Court. The suspects face execution by hanging if convicted and sentenced to death.
On June 21, 2006, Saddam's chief defense lawyer, Khamis al-Obeidi, was assassinated in Baghdad. In protest of the lack of international protection for lawyers, Saddam began a hunger strike. On June 23, 2006, it was reported that Saddam ended his hunger strike, having missed one meal.
On June 27 2006, two of Saddam Hussein's lawyers, Ramsey Clark, a former US Attorney-General, and Curtis Doebbler, held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to call for immediate security for all the Iraqi defense lawyers and to complain in a lengthy and documented statement of the unfair trial being conducted by the American authorities using Iraqis as a front. The two lawyers claimed that the United States had refused to provide adequate protection for the defense lawyers despite repeated requests that were made and that the United States was intentionally ensuring an unfair trial.
On November 5, 2006, Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging. When the judge announced the verdict, Saddam shouted "Long live the people. Long live the Arab nation. Down with the spies. God is great."  Chief defense lawyer Khalil al-Dulaimi later quoted a statement from Saddam Hussein given just before the Court issued its verdict. Saying that the former Iraqi President urged his countrymen to "unify in the face of sectarian strife". Al-Dulaimi also added that Saddam's message to the people was to "pardon and do not take revenge on the invading nations and their people". An appeal, mandated by the Iraqi judicial system, followed. There was speculation that the appeals could last years, postponing his actual execution. However, the judge has declared that all appeal proceedings must take place within 30 days.
Among Hussein's co-defendants, Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, his half-brother and Iraq's intelligence chief at the time of the Dujail killings, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, who issued death sentences to Dujail residents as head of a Revolutionary Court, were also sentenced to death by hanging. The former Iraqi vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadan was sentenced to life in prison. 
Former Baath party officials in the Dujail region Abdullah Kadhem Roweed Al-Musheikhi, his son Mizher Abdullah Roweed Al-Musheikhi, and Ali Daeem Ali were sentenced to 15 years in prison. Mohammed Azawi Ali, also a Baath party official in Dujail region, was acquitted due to a lack of evidence. 
 Local reaction to sentence
* President Jalal Talabani said in a statement "I think this trial was fair" and "I must respect the independence of the Iraqi judiciary. Until the end I must be silent"
* Prime Minister Nouri Maliki said the sentence may "help alleviate the pain of the widows and the orphans" who lived under Saddam's regime.
* First Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi National Assembly Khaled al-Attiyah said "we expected the maximum penalty against the criminal Saddam Hussein and his henchmen because they committed horrible crimes against the Iraqi people, the Arabs, Muslims and the entire international community." 
 International reaction to sentence
The EU issued a statement saying that while the EU had repeatedly condemned "the systematic, widespread and extremely grave violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law committed by the regime of Saddam Hussein", "the EU opposes capital punishment in all cases and under all circumstances, and it should not be carried out in this case either".
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee reacted guardedly to the death sentence, saying such verdicts should not appear to be "victor's justice" and should be acceptable to the people of Iraq and the international community. In a statement, he said "such life and death decisions require credible due process of law". 
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammed Ali Hosseni said "the Islamic republic of Iran welcomes the death sentence" and "we cannot forget the Western protectors of Saddam who by supporting him prepared the ground for the execution of his crimes".
A spokeperson for the Foreign Affairs Minister said "Ireland and its EU partners have made it clear in the past to Iraqi authorities that we are opposed to courts applying the death sentence".
Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende was quoted saying "this sentence is fitting for the reign of terror by which Saddam ruled". He did however add that he does not support the death sentence as a legal punishment. Minister of Foreign Affairs Ben Bot said that even though The Netherlands opposes the idea of the death sentence he could, "given the seriousness of the crimes, understand the verdict".
Prime Minister Helen Clark stated that the guilty verdict was appropriate but that she has "a long-standing objection to the death penalty and that will always be a concern to me". She declined to make a comment on whether the trial was fair, saying it was hard to determine from so far away.
Foreign affairs committee member Konstantin Kosachev made a cautious statement, saying he doubted the death penalty would be carried out. He said, "this is more of a moral ruling, revenge that modern Iraq is taking on the Saddam Hussein regime".
Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said "it is right that those accused of such crimes against the Iraqi people should face Iraqi justice". Prime Minister Tony Blair stated that he is "against the death penalty, whether it is Saddam Hussein or anybody else".
The White House spokesman Tony Snow said the trial showed "absolute proof" that the judiciary in Iraq are independent. President George W. Bush in a statement said "Saddam Hussein's trial is a milestone in the Iraqi people's efforts to replace the rule of a tyrant with the rule of law" and "today, the victims of this regime have received a measure of the justice which many thought would never come".
* Critics, including Saddam's sole remaining legal counsel Khalil al-Dulaimi have alleged that American officials have a heavy influence on the court. In a statement, Khalil said, "this court is a creature of the US military occupation, and the Iraqi court is just a tool and rubber stamp of the invaders." 
* Critics, including Khalil al-Dulaimi, have alleged that the date on which the verdict was read live to the world, November 5, 2006, was deliberately selected and expedited by the Bush Administration in order to influence the U.S. midterm elections which will occurr two days later.  
* The television link of the trial is provided by a US company which frequently blanks out the sound of what Saddam and the others say, and sometimes cuts the vision as well.
to be bluntly honest, i think that the death sentance is just, but that he should have been allowed to be shot by firing squad, rather than hanged. he deserves to die, but i dont believe in anyone dying slowly. Except Sean >;] o/