View Full Version : Iraqi appeals court upholds death sentence for Saddam Hussein

12-27-06, 08:56 AM
Iraqi appeals court upholds death sentence for Saddam Hussein
Published Tuesday December 26 2006
The Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's highest appeals court on Tuesday upheld Saddam Hussein¹s death sentence and said he must be hanged within 30 days for the killing of 148 Shiites in the central city of Dujail.

The sentence "must be implemented within 30 days," chief judge Aref Shahin said. "From tomorrow, any day could be the day of implementation."

On Nov. 5, an Iraqi court sentenced Saddam to the gallows for ordering the 1982 killings following an attempt on his life.

Under Iraqi law, the appeals court decision must be ratified by President Jalal Talabani and Iraq's two vice presidents. Talabani opposes the death penalty but has in the past deputized a vice president to sign an execution order on his behalf - a substitute that was legally accepted.

Raed Juhi, a spokesman for the High Tribunal court that convicted Saddam, said the judicial system would ensure that Saddam is executed even if Talabani and the two vice presidents do not ratify the decision.

"We'll implement the verdict by the power of the law," Juhi said. He did not elaborate. The appeals court also upheld death sentences for Barzan Ibrahim, Saddam's half brother and intelligence chief during the Dujail killings, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, head of Iraq¹s Revolutionary Court, which issued the death sentences against the Dujail residents."

The appeals court concluded the sentence of life imprisonment given to former vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan was too lenient and returned his file to the High Tribunal. Ramadan was convicted of premeditated murder in the Dujail case.

"We demand that he be sentenced to death," said Shahin, the appeals judge.

At his trial, Saddam argued that the Dujail residents who were killed had been convicted in a legitimate Iraqi court for trying to assassinate him in 1982.

The televised trial was watched throughout Iraq and the Middle East as much for theater as for substance. Saddam was ejected from the courtroom repeatedly for political harangues, and his half brother once showed up in long underwear and sat with his back to the judges. The nine-month trial inflamed Iraq¹s political divide, however, and three defense lawyers and a witness were murdered during the course of its 39 sessions.

Saddam is in the midst of a second trial charging him with genocide and other crimes during a 1987-88 military crackdown on Kurds in northern Iraq.

An estimated 180,000 Kurds died during the operation.

Saddam was found hiding with an unfired pistol in a hole in the ground near his home village north of Baghdad in December 2003, eight months after he fled the capital ahead of advancing American troops.


12-27-06, 09:24 AM
Too bad they don't do a "Live Pay-Per-View" of the execution. I'd grab me some popcorn and Milk Duds and enjoy the show!:yes:

12-27-06, 11:36 AM
Posted on Wed, Dec. 27, 2006
The beginning of the end for Saddam
Former Iraqi president could face execution within 30 days; government reportedly planning his death

By Sudarsan Raghavan and Nancy Trejos

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's highest court upheld Saddam Hussein's death sentence Tuesday, opening the way for the former Iraqi president to be hanged within 30 days, Iraqi judicial officials said.

Officials in the Iraqi government have begun to address the logistics and security measures entailed in an execution, possibly a closed and secret one, according to sources familiar with the preparations.

Under Iraq's constitution, the execution can proceed only if ratified by President Jalal Talabani and the country's two vice presidents.

There was no immediate comment from the three Tuesday.

If they uphold the decision, as many Iraqis expect, Prime Minister Nouri Maliki would have 30 days to order Saddam's execution. People close to him said Tuesday that he would do so quickly.

Capping a trial that was controversial from the start, the decision split the Iraqi public along the fault lines of sect and history.

Shiite Muslims and Kurds, whose groups suffered most under Saddam's rule, generally celebrated. Many of Saddam's fellow Sunni Arabs, however, warned that hanging the former president would intensify the current insurgency and sectarian killings.

It remains unclear whether a hanging would be carried out at a preannounced time, with public observers present. Among several proposals before Maliki is one that calls for Saddam to be executed in secret as early as next week.

His body would then be formally identified by independent observers and the death revealed to the Iraqi public and the rest of the world, according to an official familiar with the proposal.

The goal of such an approach would be to reduce retaliatory attacks by Sunnis and other loyalists.

On Tuesday, Iraqi politicians, including some Sunnis, issued calls for a speedy execution, expressing concern that a delay could cause more sectarian bloodshed and division.

"The people who wanted Saddam to be hanged and the people who were defending Saddam both were expecting this verdict," said Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish lawmaker widely seen as neutral by Sunnis and Shiites.

Many people would like the execution to happen quickly, Othman said, "because they're afraid that he might escape from prison. The more it's delayed, the more people will talk about it. It will be a divisive thing in society."

Tuesday's decision came 51 days after Saddam was sentenced to death for crimes against humanity for the killings of 148 Shiite men and boys from the town of Dujail after an assassination attempt there in 1982.

The U.S-backed trial was marred by allegations of bias and by courtroom speeches and outbursts by the defendants.

Intended to deliver justice to Iraqis oppressed under Saddam, the proceedings unfolded against a backdrop of escalating sectarian strife that took thousands of lives and widened the gap between Sunnis and Shiites.

Talabani, a Kurd, is firmly against the death penalty. But in past cases, he has deputized one of the vice presidents -- Adel Abdel-Mehdi, a Shiite, and Tariq Hashemi, a Sunni -- to sign execution orders on his behalf. All three signatures are required for an execution order to be valid.

Some analysts in Baghdad questioned whether Hashemi would endorse the execution. But they also noted that he had recently called on President Bush at the White House.

If the government does not send Saddam to the gallows, the Iraqi High Tribunal's code would ensure his execution by other means, legal experts said.

Several officials close to Maliki, a Shiite, said Tuesday that he plans to proceed with the execution as soon as legally possible.

"Definitely," said Sadiq Rikabi, a political adviser to the president. "This is in order to open a new page in the history of the Iraqi people."

The nine-judge appeals court also upheld execution sentences for Barzan Ibrahim, Saddam's half-brother, and former Judge Awad Haman Bander for their roles in the Dujail killings. The judges also changed the sentence of former Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan from life to death.

Saleh Armouti, one of Saddam's lawyers, warned against a hanging.

"The region now will be more in flames, and the resistance will increase across the Arab world," he said, speaking by telephone from neighboring Jordan. "His absence will lead to more strife and civil war inside Iraq."

International human rights groups criticized the Dujail trial as unfair and improperly run, describing it as a victor's court.

Human rights activists said they had hoped the appeals court would carry out a careful and comprehensive legal review and correct what they viewed as major flaws in the conduct of the trial.

"We think, given the unfairness in the proceedings, it would be indefensible to execute Saddam Hussein regardless of the crimes alleged in Dujail in 1982," said Richard Dicker, director of the International Justice Program of New York-based Human Rights Watch.

In Dujail, residents described the decision as bringing them a step nearer to the closure they have awaited for nearly 25 years.

"Now I feel that there is actually a God up there in heaven," said Haiyder Hamed, 43, a farmer.


12-27-06, 12:19 PM
Ya got rope? Need some?:banana: :D :banana:

12-29-06, 04:19 PM
December 29, 2006
Iraqi official: Saddam to be executed by Saturday

By Lauren Frayer
The Associated Press

BAGHDAD — Saddam Hussein will be executed no later than Saturday, said an Iraqi judge authorized to attend his hanging, and American and Iraqi officials said the deposed president was still in the hands of American guards.

The physical transfer of Saddam to Iraqi authorities is one of the last steps before his hanging.

“There has been no change in his status,” said Tom Casey, the U.S. State Department’s deputy spokesman. He said U.S. Embassy officials in Baghdad told him that Saddam remained in American hands.

A senior Iraqi government official said a meeting would be held around 10 p.m. Baghdad time (1900 GMT) between officials from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office and U.S. officials to set a time for the execution.

Munir Haddad, a judge on the appeals court that upheld Saddam’s death sentence, said he was ready to attend the execution.

“All the measures have been done,” Haddad said. “There is no reason for delays.”

Al-Maliki has signed Saddam’s death sentence, the same senior Iraqi official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.

“We have agreed with the Americans that the handover will take place only a few minutes before he is executed,” the official said.

Saddam’s lawyers issued a statement Friday calling on “everybody to do everything to stop this unfair execution.” The statement also said the former president had been transferred from U.S. custody, though American and Iraqi officials later denied that. There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy.

Al-Maliki said opposing Saddam’s execution was an insult to his victims. His office said he made the remarks in a meeting with families of people who died during Saddam’s rule.

“Our respect for human rights requires us to execute him, and there will be no review or delay in carrying out the sentence,” al-Maliki said.

Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said U.S. forces were on high alert.

“They’ll obviously take into account social dimensions that could potentially lead to an increase in violence which certainly would include carrying out the sentence of Saddam Hussein,” Whitman said.

On Thursday, two half brothers visited Saddam in his cell, a member of the former dictator’s defense team, Badee Izzat Aref, told The Associated Press by telephone from the United Arab Emirates. He said the former dictator handed them his personal belongings.

A senior official at the Iraqi defense ministry also confirmed the meeting and said Saddam gave his will to one of his half brothers. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Saddam’s lawyers later issued a statement saying the Americans gave permission for his belongings to be retrieved.

An Iraqi appeals court upheld Saddam’s death sentence Tuesday for the killing of 148 people who were detained after an attempt to assassinate him in the northern Iraqi city of Dujail in 1982. The court said the former president should be hanged within 30 days.

There have been disagreements among Iraqi officials in recent days as to whether Iraqi law dictates the execution must take place within 30 days and whether President Jalal Talabani and his two deputies have to approve it.

In his Friday sermon, a mosque preacher in the Shiite holy city of Najaf called Saddam’s execution “God’s gift to Iraqis.”

“Oh, God, you know what Saddam has done! He killed millions of Iraqis in prisons, in wars with neighboring countries and he is responsible for mass graves. Oh God, we ask you to take revenge on Saddam,” said Sheik Sadralddin al-Qubanji, a member of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, known as SCIRI, the dominant party in al-Maliki’s coalition.

With at least 72 more Iraqis killed Thursday in violence, U.S. officials and Iraqis expressed concern about the potential for even worse bloodshed following Saddam’s execution.

On Friday, some 22 bodies bearing signs of torture were found across Baghdad, police said. Ten more were found in Baqouba north of the Iraqi capital, a morgue official said.

U.S. troops, meanwhile, killed six people and destroyed a weapons cache in separate raids in Baghdad and northwest of the Iraqi capital, the U.S. military said.

One of the raids targeted two buildings in the village of Thar Thar, where U.S. troops found 16 pounds of homemade explosives, two large bombs, a rocket-propelled grenade, suicide vests and multiple batteries, the military said.

Iraqi forces backed by U.S. troops also captured 13 suspects and confiscated weapons in a raid on a mosque southeast of Baghdad, the U.S. military said Friday.


Associated Press writer Qassim Abdul-Zahra contributed to this report.


12-29-06, 04:20 PM
December 29, 2006
Troops ready for spike in violence with Saddam death
Execution coming by Saturday, judge says

By Lolita Baldor
The Associated Press

The Defense Department said Friday that U.S. forces in Iraq are braced for any violence that may follow the execution of former President Saddam Hussein.

“U.S. forces in Iraq are obviously at a high state of alert anytime because of the environment that they operate in and because of the current security situation,” said spokesman Bryan Whitman. “They’ll obviously take into account social dimensions that could potentially lead to an increase in violence which certainly would include carrying out the sentence of Saddam Hussein.”

Saddam has been in U.S. custody since he was captured in December 2003, and his lawyers said Friday that he had been handed over to Iraqi authorities. But there was conflicting information.

Tom Casey, deputy spokesman at the State Department, said that “there has been no change in his status” and that Saddam remained in American hands. In Baghdad, an Iraqi government official who refused to be identified by name because he was not authorized to release the information said authorities there were not yet in control of Saddam.

Casey said the information he had was provided by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

“I don’t have any more details to offer you,” he told reporters at the State Department. Casey reiterated the Bush administration’s view that “we think it’s very important there be accountability.” He said “it was up to the Iraqis” to formally request that Saddam be brought forward for execution.

Asked when that might occur, Casey said, “I really don’t have a timeline on this.”

The White House declined to comment on the timing of the execution.

Deputy White House press secretary Scott Stanzel, talking to reporters Friday from Crawford, Texas, where President George W. Bush was vacationing, said the hanging of Saddam was a matter for the sovereign Iraqi government. Earlier, the White House said the appeals court decision to uphold the sentence marked an important milestone for the Iraqi people’s efforts to replace the rule of a tyrant with the rule of law.

Said Whitman: “Our forces stay at a constant state of high readiness in Iraq and I would expect through this period they would do the same.”

He would not comment further on any potential troop movements to strengthen security for the execution, but said the commanders in Iraq have the ability to move forces as they deem appropriate based on conditions on the ground.

Whitman also said he would not comment on anything that Bush might be contemplating in terms of changing U.S. war policy in Iraq or in connection with the intensive administration review now under way on American strategy there.


Associated Press Diplomatic Writer Barry Schweid contributed to this report.


12-29-06, 05:24 PM
Latest report from local news channel is that he will be dead by 6am Baghdad time = 10pm EST. :banana::yes::no:

12-29-06, 06:59 PM
Any minute now! I hope they get a Kurdish woman to pull that stick. :D

12-29-06, 07:31 PM
We should all flood the streets doing the "ululululululululu" thing and firing weapons in the air. Hopefully they will do it on New Years Eve and we can send video back saying "the west celebrates the death of a tyrant" in Times Square!

12-29-06, 08:35 PM
The soldier that found him in the septic tank when he said, "I am the president of Iraq" should have replied with a grenade and saved the American people 128 million dollars spent on his court case.

Sgt Leprechaun
12-31-06, 08:05 AM
Good freakin riddance. He's gone, and I'm glad. Too bad the American justice system doesn't work as fast!