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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 July, 2004, 13:22 GMT 14:22 UK
Galloway: Saddam trial US 'sham'
MP George Galloway
Mr Galloway will not stand for election in Scotland
George Galloway has branded the trial of Saddam Hussein a US sham and said Iraq's new interim authority is a "puppet of the military occupiers".

The rebel MP, kicked out of Labour for his outspoken attacks on the war, said the ex-dictator was effectively being tried by the US, who wanted him hanged.

"It is not the Iraqis that are doing it, it is the Americans," he told Sky.

"Iraq is not a free country. There is a government that has been put in power in Baghdad by the Americans."

Saddam's trial began on Thursday with the former leader denouncing US President George W Bush as the "criminal".


He also rejected the jurisdiction of the special tribunal and said he was still Iraq's president.

Mr Galloway meanwhile said Iraqis prosecuting the trial were "stooges, collaborators, hand-picked by the military occupation of Iraq".

The Glasgow Kelvin MP has founded his own political movement called Respect which is a left-wing alliance opposed to military action in Iraq.

When Saddam was in power, Mr Galloway visited Saddam in Iraq, although he rejects claims he is an apologist for the brutal regime.

He said the ex-dictator was a war criminal "just like George Bush and Tony Blair".

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