When the court opened, the defence team for Saddam and his six co-defendants walked out in protest over Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s decision late on Tuesday to fire Chief Judge Abdullah al-Ameri, who some Shia and Kurdish politicians believed was showing leniency to the former President.
When Muhammad Oreibi al-Khalifa, Mr Amiri’s replacement, ordered court-appointed defence lawyers to proceed, Saddam bolted from his chair and complained about the switch.
“You do not have the right to speak,” the chief judge said firmly.
Then the exchange became quite heated between and Saddam pointed his finger in the air and banged the podium and shouted: “You should listen to my opinion!”
The judge jabbed toward Saddam and yelled: “I am the presiding judge and I will decide who to listen to”
“The court decides to remove Saddam Hussein from the court room,” Mr Khalifa shouted. Saddam yelled back: “Your father was in the security [forces] and he went on working as a sergeant in the security until the fall of Baghdad in 2003.”