A judge who served under Saddam Hussein admitted sentencing 148 men to death in the 1980s but said in court on Monday all had confessed to joining an Iranian plot to kill Saddam and their trials had been fair.
“They attacked the president of the republic and they confessed,” Awad Hamed al-Bandar, who headed Iraq’s Revolutionary Court under Saddam, told the Baghdad court.
He, Saddam and six others are on trial for crimes against humanity for their alleged role in the killings of 148 Shi’ites from Dujail after an attempt on Saddam’s life there in 1982.
During his last appearance on March 1, Saddam admitted he had ordered the trials under Bandar but justified the sentences as entirely legal, saying: “Where is the crime?”
Bandar accused the dead men of being part of a plot by the Iranian-backed Shi’ite Dawa party, now in the Iraqi government, to kill Saddam during Iraq’s war with Iran: “It was provoked by Iran. They were members of Dawa,” he said.