Abdullah al-Amiri, the chief judge in Saddam Hussein's trail, has been removed as complaints against his "softness" towards Saddam won the day.
Wednesday saw Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa, a Shiite Muslim Arab, presiding which in itself caused a walkout of Saddam's defence team.
Defence lawyer Wadoud Fawzi said:
"We don't expect from this court established under the occupation authorities to be fair, so we decided to withdraw from this trial
The decision to sack the judge at the orders of the government shows that this trial lacks the standards of a fair trial."
Al-Khalifa said that replacing the chief judge was an "administrative matter." When the lawyers protested, the judge said the court would appoint new counsel.
Saddam then said that he wanted his lawyers to stay:
"This is our personal right.
You must deal with us as the law dictates."
Al-Khalifa asked him to stop talking, Saddam refused and was ejected from the courtroom.
However, as he was being ejected Saddam said:
"Your father was in the security and he went on working as a sergeant in the security (forces) until the fall of Baghdad."
"I challenge you in front of the public if this is the case." al-Khalifa shouted back.
Saddam's cousin "Chemical" Ali al-Majid said:
"I'll stay, but I'll decline to say anything or defend myself and I'll gladly accept any verdict, even if it's the death penalty."
The New York-based Human Rights Watch said it was "very concerned" about al-Amiri's removal.
"This appears to be improper interference in the independence of the tribunal, and may greatly damage the court."
I have said it before, and will say it again, if justice is to be seen to be done Saddam should have been tried in a similar manner to the Nuremberg trials.