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"The execution of Saddam Hussein is an outrageous act against humanity"

Avicena, Zaragoza, Spain

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Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa, the chief judge for the trial, said the court decided to stop all legal action against the former president, since "the death of defendant Saddam death was confirmed".

 

Saddam was hanged on December 30, in an execution that has drawn global criticism for the Shia-dominated government. A leaked video from inside the former leader's execution chamber showed him being taunted on the gallows.

 

'Completely wrong'

 

"[Blair] believes that the manner of the execution was completely wrong, but that should not lead us to forget the crimes that Saddam Hussein committed, including the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis."

Spokesperson for Tony Blair, the British prime minister
The office of Tony Blair, the British prime minister, said on Sunday that the manner in which Saddam was executed was "completely wrong".

 

"[Blair] believes that the manner of the execution was completely wrong, but that should not lead us to forget the crimes that Saddam Hussein committed, including the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis."

 

Human Rights Watch said Saddam's speedy execution illustrated the Iraqi government's disregard for human rights, and urged Iraqi officials to halt two upcoming hangings.

 

"The tribunal repeatedly showed its disregard for the fundamental due process rights of all of the defendants," said Richard Dicker, director of Human Rights Watch's International Justice Program.

 

Saddam's half brother and former intelligence chief, Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, and former head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court, Awad Hamed al-Bandar, were sentenced to death after being found guilty along with Saddam of involvement in the killings of nearly 150 Shias in the town of Dujail after a 1982 assassination attempt there against Saddam.

 

Hangings expected

 

Their executions were postponed, however, until after the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which ended six days ago. The two are expected to be hanged in the coming days, though Jaafar al-Mousawi, the chief prosecutor in the separate Dujail case, said the timing would "be determined by the government".

 

Awad Hamed al-Bandar is expected to be
executed in the coming days [AFP]
Sami al-Askari, an adviser to Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq's prime minister, declined to give reasons for the delay and said only that "no date has been made yet" for al-Bandar and Barzan's hangings.

 

All seven defendants in the Anfal case, including Saddam, had pleaded innocent to charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Saddam and one other man also pleaded innocent to the additional charge of genocide.

 

The six remaining defendants - all senior members of Saddam's ousted regime - include his cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as "Chemical Ali" for his alleged use of chemical weapons against Iraqi Kurds.

 

The other defendants are Sultan Hashim al-Tai, the former defence minister and the commander of Task Force Anfal and head of the Iraqi army 1st Corps, Sabir al-Douri, Saddam's military intelligence chief, Taher Tawfiq al-Ani, former governor of Mosul and head of the Northern Affairs Committee, Hussein Rashid Mohammed, former deputy director of operations for the Iraqi armed forces, and Farhan Mutlaq Saleh, former head of military intelligence's eastern regional office.