The Corner

Smacky Face

With Saddam:

Saddam Hussein was beaten up while he was being interrogated by a judge after he insulted two of the most revered figures in Shia Islam, it emerged yesterday.

According to an Iraqi lawyer close to the current government in Baghdad, the altercation took place in July while Saddam was being investigated ahead of his war crimes trial, which opened last month.

The dictator was apparently being questioned about the brutal suppression of a Shia uprising in 1991, after his defeat in the war to expel his forces from Kuwait.

Saddam admitted helicopters were used to fire on civilians in the city of Karbala, arguing that they were targeting the armed opposition.

Asked whether the shrines of the Imams Hussein and Abbas in the city had been attacked by Iraqi forces, Saddam at first pretended not to know the two holy figures of Shia Islam.

But he then said: “Who do you mean? Those manayich [buggers]?” According to the Iraqi lawyer, two of the court’s clerks who had been taking notes then lunged at the former dictator and started to punch him.

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