Saddam Hussein testified for the first time at his trial Wednesday, but the chief judge quickly closed the session to the public after the former Iraqi leader refused his orders to stop making political speeches.
The former Iraqi leader, wearing a black suit and standing before the chief judge, called the trial a "comedy." He then addressed the Iraqi people about the bloody wave of sectarian violence that has rocked the country since the bombing of a major Shiite shrine last month.
"What pains me most is what I heard recently about something that aims to harm our people," Saddam said. "My conscience tells me that the great people of Iraq have nothing to do with these acts," he said referring to the bombing of the shrine in the city of Samarra.
Chief judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman interrupted saying he was not allowed to give political speeches in the court.
"I am the head of state," Saddam replied.
"You used to be a head of state. You are a defendant now," Abdel-Rahman said.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Coming to Must-See TV:
Saddam calls his trial a "comedy."