"and knock yourself on the head..." Saddam Hussein to the chief judge, 14 February, 2006. I am sure that it is even funnier in Arabic.
Someone said a while back that it was not a good idea to try this man. He is "making monkeys" out of the court and the new Iraqi government. He looks strong, looks humorous and is defiant and all the talk about what a coward he is does not "play" in the Arab World. He does not look afraid at all. His legend is growing by the day.
They are now in the second part of a ten part trial. The government is trying to bring witnesses who can and will establish his personal responsibility for the massacre almost thirty years ago of a hundred and fifty odd Shia in a village where someone tried to assassinate him.
They are having tough time doing that. 1-It has been a long time. 2-Those who are still "his people" are having lapses of memory and 3- Those who were never "his people" and would like to see him shot are frightened (with good reason) of the consequences for them an their families of testifying against him.
It would be embarrassing to not have enough evidence to finish the trial "satisfactorily."
Let's stop. Let's say that he is an EPW, that his army never surrendered (it did not) and so he is still at war with us. He was/is constitutionally commander in chief. Then we can hold him without trial for the rest of the war (whenever that might be).
Cynical? The alternative is to let him go on like this. Bad idea.