Chief judge to Saddam: You were not a dictator

By
September 14, 2006 13:56
1 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The chief judge in Saddam Hussein's genocide trial said Thursday that he did not believe the former Iraqi leader had been a dictator. Judge Abdullah al-Amiri made his remark in a friendly chat with Saddam during court proceedings - a day after the prosecution asked him to step down, alleging bias toward the defendants. Saddam was questioning a 57-year-old Kurdish witness, who testified that the ex-president aggressively told him to "shut up" when he pleaded for the release of nine missing relatives nearly two decades ago. "I wonder why this man (the witness) wanted to meet with me, if I am a dictator?" Saddam asked. The judge interrupted: "You were not a dictator. People around you made you (look like) a dictator." "Thank you," Saddam responded, bowing his head in respect. A Shi'ite Muslim with 25 years experience, al-Amiri was a member of Saddam's Baath party and served as a judge in a criminal court under the former leader's regime. He heads the five-judge panel overseeing Saddam's trial on charges of committing atrocities against Kurds in northern Iraq nearly two decades ago. On Wednesday, Chief Prosecutor Munqith al-Faroon demanded al-Amiri step down, accusing him of bias toward the deposed leader and his co-defendants. "You allowed this court to become a political podium for the defendants," al-Faroon told al-Amiri. The prosecutor said the judge was giving Saddam the time to make "political" statements that were irrelevant to the proceedings. "For instance yesterday, instead of taking legal action (against Saddam), you asked his permission to talk," al-Faroon said. "The action of the court leans toward the defendants."

Related Content

A muslim pilgrim takes a video with his mobile phone while others circle the Kaaba and pray at the G
August 20, 2018
Repentant Muslims gather on Mount Arafat for Hajj climax

By REUTERS