BAGHDAD — The chief judge in the trial of Saddam Hussein has tendered his resignation in protest at pressure from the Iraqi government on himself and the court, a source close to the judge told Reuters on Saturday. The revelation will fuel argument over the U.S.-backed government’s ability to give the former president a fair trial in the middle of the bitter sectarian and ethnic conflict that has raged since Saddam’s overthrow three years ago. High Tribunal officials were trying to talk Kurdish judge Rizgar Amin out of his decision, the source said, adding that Amin was reluctant to stay because Shi’ite leaders had criticized him for being too lenient on Saddam in court. “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,” the source said. “He’s under a lot of pressure; the whole court is under political pressure.” “He had complaints from the government that he was being too soft in dealing with Saddam Hussein and his co-defendants. They (government leaders) want things to go faster.” The killing of two defense lawyers had […]

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