Saddam judge offers resignation - official
Updated: 2006-01-15 09:00
The chief judge in Saddam Hussein's trial has submitted his resignation after
becoming fed up with criticism that he had let the proceedings spin out of
control, a court official said Saturday.
But it wasn't clear if Rizgar Mohammed Amin's resignation had been accepted
amid behind-the-scenes efforts to change his mind.
Amin is the head of a five-judge tribunal
overseeing the case against Saddam and seven co-defendants for the deaths of
more than 140 Shiite Muslims in the town of Dujail in 1982 in retaliation for an
Rizgar Mohammed Amin presides over the trial of Saddam Hussein inside the
Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2005.
The chief prosecutor in Saddam's trial, Jaafar al-Mousawi, told The
Associated Press that Amin's resignation — if accepted — would not affect the
proceedings because he could be quickly replaced.
"There are substitutes. If any judge wanted to resign it wouldn't hinder the
trial process," he said.
Amin would be the second judge to step down in the case. Another member of
the panel recused himself in late November because one of the co-defendants may
have been involved in the execution of his brother. That judge was replaced.
A court official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the
sensitivity of the case, said Amin had offered to resign but efforts were under
way to get him to reverse the decision.
The U.S. military, meanwhile, said a Marine was killed Friday by small-arms
fire during combat in the western town of Ramadi, raising to at least 2,215 the
number of American troops who have died since the Iraq war started in March
Electoral officials also said results from the Dec. 15 parliamentary vote
could be certified by next week after repeated delays, opening the way for
negotiations to formally get under way for the formation of a broad-based
In the Saddam case, the chief judge — who is the only one of the five to be
identified publicly due to security concerns — has been dismayed by the way he
had been attacked in the media by critics who said he allowed the proceedings to
get out of hand, the official said.
Saddam has often grabbed the spotlight during the nearly three-month-old
trial. He has railed at the judge, refused to show up at one session, claimed he
was tortured and openly prayed in court when the judge would not allow a recess.