Iraq Court Says Saddam Should Hang In 30 Days - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Baghdad, Iraq - 12/26/06

Iraq Court Says Saddam Should Hang In 30 Days

An Iraqi appeals court on Tuesday upheld Saddam Hussein's death sentence for crimes against humanity and said he should hang within 30 days.

"The appeal court has approved the death sentence. They (the government) has the right to choose the date starting from tomorrow up to 30 days. After 30 days it will be an obligation to implement the sentence," the head of the Iraqi High Tribunal, Aref Abdul-Razzaq al-Shahin, told a news conference.

Saddam, 69, was sentenced to death on November 5 for crimes against humanity over the killings of 148 Shi'ites from the town of Dujail after he escaped assassination there in 1982.

Saddam's half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti and former judge Awad al-Bander also received the death penalty for their part in the incident. The court also rejected their appeals.

The court recommended toughening the sentence on former Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan, who had been sentenced to life in prison over the Dujail killings, saying he should also be executed.

"Amnesty International is very disappointed about this decision," a spokeswoman for the human rights organization said.

"We are against the death penalty as a matter of principle but particularly in this case because it comes after a flawed trial."

Saddam's chief defense counsel Khalil al-Dulaimi told Reuters from Amman: "If they dare implement the sentence it will be a catastrophe for the region and will only deepen the sectarian infighting."

GENOCIDE TRIAL

Saddam is still on trial with six others for genocide against ethnic Kurds in a military campaign in northern Iraq in the 1980s. Shahin said the trial would continue without Saddam.

Many human rights and legal experts have argued that Saddam could not get a fair trial in a country torn by sectarian conflict that has killed tens of thousands of Iraqis.

In the latest violence, bombs killed more than 30 people in Baghdad, including 15 in western Adhamiya district, a Sunni area. Earlier, a triple car bombing in a Shi'ite area killed 16.

The U.S. military reported the deaths of six more American soldiers in Iraq, bringing the U.S. death toll to at least 2,978 -- five more than the number killed in the September 11 attacks.

At least 89 U.S. soldiers have died so far this month, making it the deadliest this year after October's toll of 106, and increasing pressure on President George W. Bush to find a strategy to extricate 135,000 U.S. troops from the war.

Story courtesy of the Associated Press.

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