In his first formal testimony in his trial, the deposed Iraqi leader called on Iraqis to cease the sectarian violence and join forces against the Americans–while insisting that he is still the rightful leader of Iraq.

The judge trying the case, quarreling with Hussein several times during his 40-minute speech, ended by closing the session to the public.

Washington Post


BAGHDAD, IRAQ- Saddam Hussein took the witness stand today for his first formal testimony in his trial, and delivered an incendiary political diatribe that urged Iraqis to cease the sectarian bloodshed and carry on the war against the Americans. The presiding judge closed the session after Mr. Hussein, wearing thick reading glasses, kept on lambasting the court.

Mr. Hussein’s nearly 40-minute speech was the most explosive element so far in a trial that has been marked by farcical tirades from the defendants and searing testimony from victims. Mr. Hussein marched up to the defendants’ lectern in the mid-afternoon, after his half-brother had spent three hours delivering a rambling monologue, and slipped on brown-rimmed glasses to read a prepared speech from a yellow notepad.

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