Saddam Hussein told the special court trying him Monday that he was not afraid of execution and suggested that the first witness against him needed psychiatric treatment.
Following the witness's testimony, Saddam defended his actions and told the court that he understood the pressures upon it in his trial. He and his seven co-defendants could be executed if convicted in the deaths of more than 140 Shi'ites in 1982.
"When I speak I speak like your brother," he said. "Your brother in Iraq and your brother in the nation. I am not afraid of execution. I realize there is pressure on you and I regret that I have to confronmt one of my sons. But I'm not doing it for myself. I'm doing it for Iraq. I'm not defending myself. But I am defending you."
He added that: "I want you to be the shooters and the swords against the enemy army."
It was one of a number of outbursts by Saddam during a stormy third court session in the trial of the ousted leader and seven co-defendants - accused in the 1982 killing of more than 140 Shi'ites after an assassination attempt against the president in Dujail.