The trial of Chad’s ex-President Hissene Habre, faced continuous disruptions by the accused mass murderer, who tried to drown out a reading of his alleged crimes against humanity by the court clerk.

Habre stands accused of ordering the killing of some 40,000 people during his rule in the 1980s, charges he denies.

Refusing to accept the legitimacy of the court, Habre forced the trial’s first postponement in July. This week, he was brought to the courtroom by force but continued to disrupt proceedings by shouting, “Shut up! Shut up!” as the court clerk read the charge sheet.

His alleged crimes include use of a swimming pool as an underground prison, where survivors say they were subjected to electric shocks, near-asphyxia and “supplice des baguettes,” when their heads were squeezed between sticks.

Records of the executions of more than 1,000 people were recovered from files abandoned by Habré’s political police force. The files also showed that more than 12,000 people were victims of gross human rights violations.

More than 4,000 of his victims are taking part in the trial, which is expected to last two months.

Reed Brody, counsel at Human Rights Watch, who has worked with the victims of Habre’s regime since 1999, said it was clear that the court was fed up with accused leader’s antics.

“Hissene Habre can make all the noise all he wants, but he doesn’t get to decide whether he should be tried, or if the victims get justice,” said Brody, who was present in court.

Set in Dakar, Senegal, at an Extraordinary African Chambers set up at the request of the Africa Union, the trial marks the first time one African country has prosecuted the former leader of another. It is the outcome of a 25-year campaign to bring him to justice.

Charges against the former leader were investigated by a Chadian truth commission, whose four judges conducted an extensive 19-month investigation. They relied primarily on evidence they developed themselves, after gathering statements from 2,500 direct and indirect victims and key witnesses, including former officials of the Habre government.

Their report in 1992 concluded that the Habre regime was responsible for the 40,000 deaths and disappearances.

Habre was born in 1942 to ethnic Toubou herders in northern Chad. He received a scholarship to study political science in France and returned home to seize power, allegedly with the help of the CIA.

Throughout the 1980s, Habre was dubbed the “quintessential desert warrior” and was the centerpiece of the Reagan administration’s covert effort to undermine Libyan strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi.

He was ousted by his former chief military advisor and Chad’s current president, Idriss Deby, in 1990.

If convicted, the former president could be sentenced to 30 years to life in prison and forced labor.