Skip to comments.Saddam told he should die by the rope like a common criminal
Posted on 11/04/2006 4:49:29 PM PST by West Coast Conservative
Saddam Hussein is to be denied his final wish of an "honourable" death by military firing squad after court officials ruled he should face the gallows as a common criminal if found guilty.
The former Iraqi dictator, who is expected to be given the death sentence today when a verdict is delivered in his first war crimes trial, has been demanding execution by the gun rather than the rope, on the basis that he was head of the country's armed forces.
But the Iraqi war crimes court in Baghdad has dismissed his request, noting that Saddam failed the entry exam for the Iraqi military academy and only became field marshal by appointing himself when president.
Its ruling is in line with legal conventions from Saddam's own time in power: Iraqi courts allowed a quick death by firing squad for those who showed remorse, but required the rope for those who they felt deserved to suffer.
Throughout the year-long proceedings, Saddam has shown no contrition, defiantly telling a closing session of the trial: "This case is not worth the urine of an Iraqi child."
The verdict will be announced with Iraq under virtual lockdown for fear that Saddam's supporters will use it to stoke further insurgent and sectarian violence.
Baghdad is expected to be sealed off and its airport shut as the chief judge in the trial, Rauf Abdel Rahman, delivers his verdict. A curfew has already been imposed on the northern province of Salaheddin, which includes the city of Tikrit, where 69-year-old Saddam was born.
Iraqi and American officials fear an escalation of savage clashes between Sunni and Shia Muslims, which are already claiming upwards of 100 lives a day in Baghdad and surrounding provinces.
The minority Sunnis, who enjoyed privileges under Saddam's rule, see the special tribunal as little more than a tool for political revenge by Iraq's new Shia-led government. Today's judgment, which is against Saddam and seven former members of his regime, relates to the killing of 148 Shias rounded up after an assassination attempt on the president during a visit to Dujail, north of Baghdad, in 1982. Some of the victims, who allegedly included woman and children, were tortured before they died.
Handwriting experts have told the court that the signature on their death warrants was Saddam's. He maintains his innocence, insisting that the court is an illegitimate tool of the US occupation.
Although today's verdict is all but certain to confirm Saddam's guilt and impose the death sentence, it remains unclear exactly when it will be carried out.
"From the time any verdict is handed down there is an automatic appeal to a nine-judge panel," said one source close to the tribunal. "They can take as long as they want over whether to dismiss the appeal but if they do, then under Iraqi law the sentence must be carried out within 30 days."
Three of the others in the dock alongside Saddam are likely to be sentenced to die.
They are: Taha Yassin Ramadan, a former industry minister who once said that any Iraqi who did not work hard should face execution; Saddam's half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti, a former intelligence chief accused of involvement in rounding up Dujail villagers; Awad Hamed al-Bander, a former revolutionary court judge accused of presiding over show trials and summary executions. Another three, all local Ba'ath party officials in the Dujail area, are expected to get long jail sentences, while one of their colleagues is expected to be released.
Were Saddam to hang within the coming months, it would leave him as an absent defendant in his current, second trial for massacring thousands of Iraqi Kurds during the al-Anfal campaign in the 1980s. He has also been charged with crimes including the illegal invasions of Iran and Kuwait. Prosecutors appear to be happy for those trials to proceed without him.
If the death sentence is pronounced and the appeals process exhausted, there will be a question over what will happen to Saddam's body. US commanders believe he may have to be buried at a secret, unmarked spot in the desert to prevent his grave becoming a shrine for supporters.
Good. Hang the dictator.
An old Kurdish woman had a solution I liked.
She said he should be put in a cage so people can cut pieces off of him forever.
A nice bit of early November news.
He deserves death by baseball bat.
After 18 years of appeals, he will be hung.....
If Saddam were responsible for the death of one of my loved ones I'd vote for death by industrial shredder. .....feet first, and slowly.
The most watched vid at YouTube in a few months will be an unauthorized bootleg of Saddam's hanging.
Funny (in a not funny way!) how little people who fail at something feel the need to come back and ruin the thing which rejected them.
Feet first into a wood chipper was not an option?
Cut his head off with a DIRTY OLD Dull blade!
You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don't, you get hanged like a common criminal in Iraq.
After which, he slowly roasts in Hell until done to a fine turn.
They hanged Eichmann. Dancing on air is a fitting end to a tyrant.
Agree, but do it quickly. This POS will be a symbol for a number of those sick-murderous bastards who will take to the street to protest following the judicial decision. Then, by Iraqi law, the demented scum will be afforded still another trial. Troops should have shot him through the head when found in his "hole".
Agreed..and let him rot and let the birds of the sky eat his flesh...
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