The chief judge in Saddam Hussein's genocide trial was replaced Tuesday, the government spokesman's office said.
Abdullah al-Amiri was replaced by Mohammed al-Uraibiy, who was his deputy in the trial, said a court source. Al-Uraibiy is a Shi'ite, the source said.
There was no reason given on why al-Amiri was replaced but the request came from the Iraqi High Tribunal, according to a government source. The request was made in a letter to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who approved it, he said.
Prosecutors had asked for al-Amiri to be replaced after he allowed Saddam to lash out at Kurdish witnesses. Last week, al-Amiri stirred further controversy after he told the ex-president that "you were not a dictator."