Sunday, November 05, 2006

The End of Saddam

Death penalty for Saddam Hussein

Ground-breaking news from BBC News:

Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has been convicted of crimes against humanity by a Baghdad court and sentenced to death by hanging. He was found guilty over his role in the killing of 148 people in the mainly Shia town of Dujail in 1982.

His brother Barzan al-Tikriti was also sentenced to death, as was Iraq's former chief judge Awad Hamed al-Bander. Former vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadan got life in jail and three others received 15 year prison terms. Another co-defendant, Baath party official Mohammed Azawi Ali, was acquitted.

Saddam Hussein shouted out "Allahu Akbar!" (God is Greatest) and "Long live Iraq. Long live the Iraqi people!" after the judge announced the verdict.

Correspondents say the former leader looked visibly shocked as the sentence was passed, but the BBC's world affairs editor John Simpson said that as he was led away Saddam Hussein seemed to have a small smile on his face.

"It was as if he was thinking 'I've come here and done what I intended to do'," our correspondent said.

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