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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The chief judge in Saddam Hussein's trial adjourned proceedings Monday until December 5 after defendants complained about their attorneys.
The defendants said they weren't pleased with court-appointed lawyers and they also wanted replacements for two attorneys who were killed recently and a third representative who has left the country.
The slayings of defense attorneys Sadoon Janabi and Adil Muhammed al-Zubaidi have made security a key issue in the trial.
In addition to legal representation, defendants also raised concerns about court processes, health care and death threats.
The eight defendants are accused in the 1982 slayings of more than 140 civilians in the town of Dujail, north of Baghdad, after an unsuccessful assassination attempt against Hussein.
In Monday's proceedings, Hussein argued with the judge and railed against Iraq's "occupiers." (Watch Hussein argue with the judge about "occupiers" -- 2:54)
Carrying a copy of the Quran under his arm, Hussein complained to Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin that his pen and paper had been taken from him.
"Why would you confiscate my papers and the pen that I need? How should I defend myself?" he asked.
The judge asked Hussein why he was slightly late to court, and the ex-dictator said he had had to climb several flights of stairs because of a broken elevator.
"They brought me here to the door, and I was handcuffed. They cannot bring the defendant in handcuffs," Hussein said.
Amin said he would inform police.
"I don't want you to tell them, I want you to order them," Hussein replied. "They are invaders and occupiers, and you have to order them."
Complaints about defense attorneys began after a brief recess when former Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan stood up in court and said he wanted new lawyers and indicated he wasn't pleased with his court-appointed counsel.
Ramadan's attorney, al-Zubaidi, was shot and killed in a November 8 attack that left another lawyer wounded. Ramadan had appointed three lawyers to represent him, and the two surviving ones have left the country.
Hussein's half brother, defendant Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, said he wants the ex-Iraqi leader's attorneys to represent him.
Al-Tikriti also said he has cancer and needs proper care and treatment. He said he had forwarded to the judge an application for medical treatment, but Amin said he had not received it. Al-Tikriti said that if a delay over that application lingers, "it will be indirect death."
Awad Hamad Bandar, former chief judge of Hussein's Revolutionary Court, said he and Hussein had received death threats, and the chief judge said he would look into their concerns.
On October 20, a day after the Dujail trial began, Bandar's attorney, Janabi, was kidnapped and fatally shot in the head.
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