The deposed dictator, who used to live in first one and then another of the marble palaces he built, gave little appearance of a man on trial for his life.
"Who are you? I want to know who you are," he asked the top judge.
"I do not respond to this so-called court, with all due respect to its people, and I retain my constitutional right as the president of Iraq," Saddam said, as the judge tried to interrupt him. "Neither do I recognize the body that has designated and authorized you, nor the aggression - because all that has been built on false basis is false."
After berating the judge some more, he decided he hadn't gotten his due:
Throughout Wednesday's stormy three-hour session, Saddam continued to argue with the judges. Then, as a break was called, he got into a scuffle with guards.Three hours of proceedings and the judge had to adjourn for another 40 days. Hmmm, it seems the Iraqis really are modeling their judicial system after ours...
First he stood and smiled before asking to step out of the room. When two guards tried to take his arms, he angrily shook them off. They tried to grab him again, and he struggled to get free. During the ensuing scuffle that lasted about a minute, Saddam and the guards yelled at each other.
The scuffle ended with Saddam getting his way: He was allowed to walk out independently, with the two guards behind him. He did not appear harmed.
When the break ended, the judge announced that the session was adjourned until Nov. 28.