Some choice words from the BBC bulletin on the subject:
"Some members of the Iraqi government and US politicians have complained that Judge Rizgar has been too soft on the former president, allowing him to take over the court.
However, the source within the tribunal told the BBC's Alistair Leithead in Baghdad that Judge Rizgar is not resigning over pressure from the Iraqi government, but because of his disappointment at the public's reaction.
The source said that the judge had simply been trying to ensure that the trial is fair and that everyone involved gets their say."
Frankly, we kind of liked him (Rizgar, not Saddam.) The main serious criticism of him, viz. that he gave Saddam a soapbox and treated him too deferentially, may have a grain of truth, but let's face it, Saddam was going to be found guilty and killed. If you're going to have a show-trial, why not make it a show-fair-trial?
It probably won't ever come out, but we would officially not be surprised if another reason he is resigning has to do with "The Americans" having too much influence over the trial. Which crimes to put Saddam up for, how to do it so as to seem just fair enough to keep the outrage from boiling over and having the UN demand a change of venue without being so fair that God forbid Saddam doesn't get the axe, etc.
Discussion question: Would it really be the worst thing in the world if Saddam spends the rest of his natural life in US custody? (I.e. without getting the death penalty?)