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Colleagues deny reports Saddam chief judge to quit as confusion reigns

[JURIST] Two judges sitting with Iraqi High Criminal Court judge Rizgar Amin [Wikipedia profile], currently presiding over the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive], Saturday dismissed as "baseless" press reports that he would resign [JURIST report] at the next sitting of the court on January 24. One judge who asked not to be named is currently working with Amin on Hussein's trial for the 1982 killings at Dujail; the other is slated to preside at the next case brought against Saddam. There has been no word from Amin himself, nor from the sources that told reporters Friday that he would step down, having found it "too difficult" to continue. Reuters, which filed the original report, ran a story Saturday sticking by its original claim [Reuters report] and quoted another source close to Amin as saying that he had already submitted his letter of resignation and was simply waiting for the court's response. AP has more.

10:41 AM ET - A more detailed Reuters story is now quoting a "source close to the judge" as saying Saturday that Amin, displeased that Iraqi Shiite leaders have criticized him for being too lenient in his handling of the trial, had indeed tendered his resignation and that court officials were trying to talk him out of it. Reuters quotes the source: "He tendered his resignation to the court a few days ago but the court rejected it. Now talks are under way to convince him to go back on his decision... He's under a lot of pressure; the whole court is under political pressure."

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