Hussein: Shoot Me If Found Guilty - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/26/06-BAGHDAD, Iraq

Hussein: Shoot Me If Found Guilty

Saddam Hussein used his day in court Wednesday to call on Iraqis to oust the Americans from Iraq and to request execution by firing squad -- not a hangman's noose -- if he is sentenced to death.

A court-appointed lawyer delivered the closing arguments for Hussein since his defense team is boycotting the trial until their demands for better security are met by the government.

Hussein and seven former members of his regime are on trial on charges of arresting hundreds of people, torturing women and children and killing 148 people who were sentenced to death in 1982.

The session started with the former Iraqi leader complaining that he was forcibly brought into court against his will from a hospital where he was being treated for the effects of an 18-day hunger strike.

"The Americans brought me here against my will," Hussein said. He said he did not physically resist them since he is not a young man.

Chief Judge Raouf Abdul Rahman read a medical report saying Hussein was fit to appear in court.

During a later exchange with the judge, Hussein called on his followers to "resist the invaders" and liberate Iraq from the Americans.

"I can't liberate it while I am in prison, but the heroes out there will liberate it," Hussein said.

Judge Rahman accused Hussein of "inciting the killing of Iraqis," telling him that "60 Iraqis are killed each day and maybe two American soldiers a week. Look at this percentage."

"Why don't you tell them to attack to American bases, not the market places and cafes," Judge Rahman said, "so, let them go on and attack the Americans."

Hussein responded that before he was arrested in December 2003 he issued orders to his followers: "If you see an American vehicle you can hit it."

"I call for Iraqis to stand together and to forgive each other, but against the enemy, I call on them to fight, to kill Americans," Hussein said.

Hussein requested Wednesday that if he is sentenced to death that it be by firing squad.

"Remember that Saddam Hussein is a military man," Hussein said. "If sentenced, it should be with a firing squad, not hanging like criminals."

The judge said now was not the time to discuss the sentence.

Before court ended, the judge told Hussein that he had one more chance for his defense lawyers to present closing arguments in the next session.

Earlier in the day, Hussein questioned why the court has not met his lawyers' demands for more security.

"Half of them have been killed," he said. In fact, three defense lawyers have died since the trial started last October, but only one worked directly for Hussein.

Earlier in the day, Hussein disavowed his court-appointed lawyer, calling him "an enemy of the people."


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