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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Shia, Kurds to murder Hussein in revenge

Iraqi Court Says Hussein Must Die Within 30 Days

Published: December 27, 2006

BAGHDAD, Dec. 26 — An Iraqi appeals court on Tuesday upheld the death sentence against Saddam Hussein and ruled that the man whose brutal reign began in 1979 and ended with the American-led invasion in 2003 must go to the gallows within 30 days.

It was the court of last resort for Mr. Hussein, who received his death sentence on Nov. 5 from the Iraqi High Tribunal, a court set up specifically to pass judgment on his years in power. No further appeals are possible, and his final legal recourse appears to be a clause in the Constitution stating that the Iraqi president must approve all death sentences.

That clause offers Mr. Hussein only the slenderest of hopes. Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi president, has said he is formally against the death penalty, but he has permitted the hangings of many Iraqis convicted of capital crimes. And the Constitution may be trumped by an article in the charter of the tribunal stating that its sentences may be commuted by no one, not even the president.

The appeals verdict, covering one case involving the execution of 148 men and boys in the northern town of Dujail in 1982, came even as Mr. Hussein was facing trial on charges that he ordered the killing of tens of thousands of Kurds, whose bodies have in some instances been exhumed from grisly mass graves and minutely described in the courtroom.

The decision of the nine-judge appeals court was announced on short notice by the chief judge, Aref Shahen, after another day of the numbing violence that has gradually engulfed this country after the bursts of optimism that followed Mr. Hussein’s fall from power in March 2003 and his capture by American forces in December of that year.

Judge Shahen delivered the verdict to a few reporters assembled at the Council of Ministers building within the heavily guarded Green Zone as the rest of the country settled into its nighttime curfew. There were none of the theatrical outbursts contrived by Mr. Hussein to disrupt the trial and the appeal, because he was not present to hear the verdict.

This should have been done under the International Criminal Court in Holland. Not in the Green Zone, so there would be no question as to the verdict. Now? Just drop him in Sadr City and be done with it.

posted by Steve @ 2:17:00 AM

2:17:00 AM

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