BAGHDAD, Sept. 19 — The chief judge in the genocide trial of Saddam Hussein was removed from the case on Tuesday after he said last week that Mr. Hussein was “not a dictator,” government officials said.
Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq decided to remove the judge, Abdullah al-Amiri, because he had “hurt the feelings’’ of Kurds and many other Iraqis with comments that seemed to support Mr. Hussein, according to Bassam al-Husseini, one of the prime minister’s advisers.
Mr. Husseini said the judge has been reassigned to other cases. Mohammed al-Uraibiy, another member of the five-judge panel that has been hearing Mr. Hussein’s case, will take over as chief judge.
Last week, a court prosecutor demanded the judge be removed for showing bias toward Mr. Hussein and letting him harangue witnesses.
Can the Prime Minister do this? Can you imagine Bush removing a judge because he thought the judge was bias? ‘Splain this to me? How is this a democracy, again?