The new chief judge in the trial of Saddam Hussein tried a get-tough approach this week, but it backfired spectacularly. Judge Raouf Abdel Rahman opened court with the announcement that anyone who disrupted proceedings would be ejected. Just 30 minutes later, half the defendants and all of their lawyers were gone. Barzan Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti, Saddam’s half-brother and the former head of intelligence, made the first scene, calling the court the “daughter of a whore” and refusing to sit down. Al-Tikriti was evicted, the defense team walked out in protest, and Saddam began shouting until the judge ordered him to be taken out of the courtroom, too. The defense lawyers said they won’t return until the judge apologizes “for his aggressive and unlawful behavior.”
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