New chief judge throws Saddam out of courtroom

September 21, 2006 03:26

The new chief judge in the Saddam Hussein genocide trial threw the former Iraqi president out of court, and his lawyers stormed out in protest. Defense lawyers immediately questioned the decision to replace former chief judge, Abdullah al-Amiri, who angered Kurds by declaring last week that Saddam was "not a dictator. "The decision to sack the judge on the orders of the government shows that this trial lacks the standards of a fair trial," defense lawyer Wadoud Fawzi told the court. Al-Khalifa replied that replacing the chief judge was an "administrative matter" and if the lawyers walked out, the court would appoint new ones. That prompted an outburst from Saddam, who pointed his finger at the judge, pounded his fist on the podium and thundered: "You must deal with us as the law dictates." Al-Khalifa ordered Saddam to stop talking and when he refused, he ordered him escorted from the courtroom.

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