The judge in the genocide trial of Saddam Hussein told the former Iraqi leader, "You are not a dictator" during court proceedings Thursday.
Judge Abdulla al-Amiri's comments came a day after prosecutors demanded his resignation for being biased toward Saddam and six co-defendants.
The judge says he is trying to be fair to both sides.
On Thursday, Saddam cross examined a Kurdish witness who testified that he saw Saddam in 1988 to plead for the lives of his imprisoned relatives. Saddam asked, "If I am a dictator, why did you come and see me?"
At that point, judge Amiri intervened, saying, "You are not a dictator. The people who surrounded you made you a dictator."
The judge's remarks are likely to trigger more protests from prosecutors when the trial resumes Monday.
Saddam and his co-defendents are on trial for ordering the killing of tens of thousands of Kurds in the 1980s during a military offensive in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.