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Last Updated: Friday, 2 July, 2004, 01:54 GMT 02:54 UK
Key excerpts from Saddam in court
Iraq's ex-leader Saddam Hussein has made a defiant first appearance before an Iraqi judge. The following are edited key moments from that exchange.


CONFIRMING HIS IDENTITY AND STATUS

Judge: Are you Saddam Hussein?

Saddam Hussein: Yes, Saddam Hussein, the president of the Republic of Iraq.

Judge: Saddam Hussein al-Majid?

Saddam Hussein: Saddam Hussein, the president of the Republic of Iraq.

Judge: (to court clerk) Put down 'former' in brackets.

Saddam Hussein: I am the president of the republic so you should not strip me of my title to put me on trial.

Judge: Where do you live?

Saddam Hussein: I live in every Iraqi's house.


CHALLENGING THE AUTHORITY OF THE COURT

Saddam Hussein: How can you judge me in advance when I have not yet been tried? These are charges and not crimes. I demand lawyers. Do you have a law certificate and since when have you been recognised as a judge, after the occupation or before that?

Judge: Since the days of the previous regime and until now. The coalition authority asked me to hold this trial.

Saddam Hussein (laughing): Then you are trying me by order of the invasion forces. By what law are you trying me?

Judge: I am trying you in accordance with the Iraqi law.

Saddam Hussein: Then you are trying me by the law that I enacted. You are trying me by a law that I approved and ratified.

Saddam Hussein: I do not want to make you feel uneasy, but you know this is all theatre by Bush to help him with his election campaign. The real criminal is Bush.


ON THE INVASION OF KUWAIT

Saddam Hussein: How can you, an Iraqi national, say the invasion of Kuwait? Every Iraqi knows Kuwait is part of Iraq. It was not an invasion. I returned to Kuwait because the Kuwaitis were turning Iraqi women into 10-dinar prostitutes. The Iraqi soldiers went to defend the honour of Iraq. The Kuwaitis are dogs.


ON THE GASSING OF HALABJA

Saddam Hussein: Yes, I heard about that in the media as well.


ON HIS RIGHT TO A LAWYER

Saddam Hussein: Everyone says, the Americans say, I have millions of dollars stashed away in Geneva. So I should be able to afford one.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's John Simpson
"He was polite to the judge but took the opportunity to score a number of points"



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