Judge Abdullah al-Amiri caused a degree of controversy in yesterday's proceedings at the trial of Saddam Hussein, when he told Saddam that he was not a dictator.
"You were not a dictator.
However, the people or the individuals and officials surrounding you created a dictator [out of you], it was not you in particular.
It happens all over the world."
Saddam, clearly moved, bowed his head and said:
Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish member of parliament, was not impressed and said:
"If Saddam isn't a dictator as he says, then there's never been a dictatorship in the world.
This... is against the truth. It angers the victims and hurts their feelings."
Mr al-Amiri has already been accused by the prosecution of bias. It should be noted that he was a member of Saddam's Ba'ath party, and served as a prosecuting judge in a criminal court under Saddam's regime.
During yesterday's session, the court heard testimony from Abdullah Mohammad Hussein, a villager from Sida near the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniya.
"I have lost eight of my family members by the attack of the Iraqi army on my village in 1988."
He alleged that his family were taken away by Iraqi soldiers in the Anfal campaign.
"My mother was released years later and she told me that the bodies of my wife and two of my sons were found in a mass grave in Hatra south of Mosul."
He noted that he had met Saddam:
"I have met Saddam Hussein after I submitted a request. He asked what I wanted. But when I told him that I had lost my family in Sidr village, he replied 'Shut up. Your family is gone in the Anfal'."
"Why did you try to meet me when you knew I was a dictator?"
It was at this point that the judge made his comments.
The trial has now been adjourned until Monday, for "technical reasons".