Member of Saddam Hussein's defence team Salih al-Armoti told Aljazeera.net that "the president was pleased to hear about Hamas's victory".

 

"He [Saddam] said he sympathises with any party which stands firm against hegemony, and does not compromise principles for interests" al-Armoti said.

 

"The president said he was pleased to learn that the Palestinian people have finally been able to make a decision for themselves," he said.

 

Al-Armoti who heads the Jordanian Bar association, said Saddam Hussein knew about Hamas's victory from his defence team.

 

"Although we had agreed with the previous judge Mr Razgar Amin to provide the president and his companions with access to media to know what is happening around him, our clients are still living in total isolation" he said.  

 

"We are their only link to the outside world."

Saddam Hussein's defence team will not join the coming court hearing on Wednesday unless Rauf Abd al-Rahman, the newly appointed chief judge in the ousted Iraqi leader's trial in Baghdad is dismissed, Najib al-Noaimi member of the team, and former Qatari Justice minister said.

"We are not returning to the court; the judge was not neutral, and he breached the simplest legal rules, from refraining to answer our legal objections to preventing us and our clients from speaking" he told Aljazeera.net.

Alleged interference 

The new judge Rauf Abd
al-Rahman replaced Rizgar Amin

"His unfairness was expected since he is from Halabja. I wonder why they had to look to Halabja for a replacement? However, he (the judge) said it clearly in front of us that he was a Kurd and knows what to do in such a trial" he said.

The former judge Rizgar Amin resigned after alleged meddling by the Iraqi government.

Human Rights Watch said on Friday expressed concerns that the Iraqi government interference with the independence of the judges in the trial threatens the fairness of the proceedings.  

The troubled trial of Saddam Hussein collapsed into chaos moments after resuming on Sunday as the former Iraqi president and his defence team stormed out. 

The court guards dragged Saddam's half-brother and former head of Iraqi intelligence from the courtroom, after hot argument with the judge about the court's legitimacy.