New judge appointed to preside over Saddam trial

[JURIST] The chief investigative judge for the Iraqi High Criminal Court (formerly the Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website]) announced Monday that judge Ra'uf Rashid will replace former chief judge Rizgar Muhammad Amin in the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive]. Amin's resignation earlier this month [JURIST news report] was followed by a period of confusion about the fate of the lead tribunal position. Iraqi officials initially denied that Amin had resigned, subsequently urged him to stay, and later suggested replacing him with Judge Sayeed al-Hammash [JURIST report], who was then identified as a suspected former member of the banned Baath party [BBC backgrounder]. Amin told reporters [Reuters report] Sunday that his decision to resign was final and was sparked by government insistence that he was too lenient during proceedings. The trial is scheduled to resume on Tuesday. The New York Times has more.

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