/ 1 July 2004

Saddam upsets Kuwaiti ‘dogs’

Kuwait’s information minister has slammed Saddam Hussein for defending Iraq’s 1990 invasion of its Gulf neighbour during his Thursday court appearance and said the former Iraqi leader should be executed.

”The criminal still believes he is the president of Iraq,” Mohammed Abul-Hassan said in Kuwait after watching the televised images of Saddam appearing in an Iraqi court. ”Just imagine if he was still ruling Iraq.”

Saddam is facing seven broad charges, including the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, which was occupied by Iraqi forces for seven months until being liberated by a US-led coalition in the 1991 Gulf War. About 400 people, mainly Kuwaitis, were killed during the occupation and 600 people remain missing.

In his first public appearance since he was captured seven months ago, Saddam defended the invasion of Kuwait, saying it was ”for the Iraqi people”.

He also referred to the Kuwaitis as ”dogs”, a comment that led to an admonishment from the judge for using such language in a court of law.

Abu-Hassan, the Kuwaiti official, reacted angrily to Saddam’s comments about Kuwait, adding that his punishment should ”certainly be execution”.

On Saddam’s comments about invading Kuwait, the minister said: ”He wants to prove to Iraqis that he is still defending an important issue. He showed the deep hatred he still has, but the judge was firm and he stopped him.”

The minister said bad language is ”expected” of Saddam.

”This is how he was raised.” — Sapa-AP