Adam Wilkinson Posted December 30, 2006 Share Posted December 30, 2006 FORMER Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was executed today along with his half-brother Barzan Ibrahim and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, the former chief justice of the Revolutionary Court, Iraqi television has said. State-run Iraqiya television said in an announcement: "Criminal Saddam was hanged to death,'' and they played patriotic music with images of national monuments and other landmarks. The station said Saddam's half-brother Barzan Ibrahim and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, the former chief justice of the Revolutionary Court, were also hanged. "The execution started with criminal Saddam, then Barzan, then Awad al-Bandar,'' an Iraqiya announcer said. The station broadcast national songs and had a tag on the screen that read: "Saddam's execution marks the end of a dark period of Iraq's history.'' Saddam's death by hanging at dawn (2pm Australian time) was confirmed by the Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Labeed Abbawi. "I believe so, yes. He has been executed. It has been officially announced that he has been executed,'' Abbawi said, speaking by telephone to BBC News 24. US-backed Iraqi Al Hurra television station said a Muslim cleric was present at the place of execution, but it did not say where that was. Two witnesses due to attend the execution told Reuters earlier they had been summoned for 5.30 am (1.30pm AEST). Arabiya television reported they were present at that hour. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki gave an execution order overnight, with approval from the Iraqi President and justice minister, said a close party ally. But the feast of Eid al-Adha from noon could have delayed the hanging if final details, including the site of the gallows and fate of the body, had not been agreed with the Americans. Earlier, US federal judges had refused to halt the US military from handing over Saddam Hussein for execution after a last minute plea from his attorneys to keep him from the gallows. The precise details are a closely-kept secret for security reasons but a lawyer for the deposed said the final paperwork and death order - known as the Red Card - had been completed. "According to information in our possession, Saddam Hussein will be executed Saturday at dawn," he said. Two of Saddam's brothers have visited him in his cell where he has given them personal belongings, as well as a copy of his will. However, there remains confusion with the various parties involved all offering different versions of events. The Americans deny they have handed him over from their custody to the Iraqis - which would be necessary before he was hanged. "There has been no change in his status," US spokesman Tom Casey said. "He remains where he has been" and added he had "no information" on the timing of any transfer. The Iraqi government has also previously indicated it would not carry out the sentence until next week. Saddam was sentenced to hang by a court on November 5 for his role in the killing of 148 Shiite villagers in Dujail in 1982, in retaliation for an assassination attempt. The sentence was upheld Tuesday by an Iraqi appeals court. As a result, it was decided the execution would be carried before the end of January. The hanging is scheduled to take place somewhere within the heavily-fortified Green Zone. It is also due to be video-taped but the tape will not be released. Najib Naimi, a former Qatar justice minister who served on Saddam's legal defence team, told the BBC's News 24: "We think he might be executed by tomorrow (today Sydney time) as a gift for the Iraqis." "Maybe early tomorrow morning he might be executed ... we are now talking with them regarding the body itself," he said. "We would like to have his body to return it to the family so they can bury him at any place they wish." US troops have hitherto physically kept guard over Saddam and were expected to hold on to him until the last minute to avoid security breaches. A source in the team that prosecuted Saddam for crimes against humanity said prosecutors, who should have a representative at any execution, had not yet been invited to attend. The military in Baghdad, which includes many Australian servicemen and women, are on full alert for a violent backlash from Saddam's supporters. Meanwhile, lawyers acting for Saddam have filed another court appeal in America calling for a stay of execution. Technically, Saddam also faces charges under American law, which would not be able to proceed if he were executed. http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/stor...5001021,00.html This moment in history will no doubt re-ignite the debate over the death penalty. What are other forum members viewpoints on Saddam's execution as well as his regime? Should Saddam have been executed? If the video footage of his execution is released to the media, is this a breach of Saddam's human rights? Or did he lose his basic rights after killing so many in such a brutal fashion? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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