Italian premier condemns death sentence on Saddam

December 27, 2006 21:01

Italy's premier condemned Wednesday the death sentence against Saddam Hussein, reiterating Italy's opposition to capital punishment while acknowledging that the ousted Iraqi leader had committed many crimes. "While I don't want to minimize the crimes committed by Saddam Hussein, and the ferocity with which he governed during his regime, and while respecting the autonomy and legitimacy of Iraqi institutions, I must express the Italian government's, and my personal, firm opposition to the death sentence," Prodi said in a statement. Italy is a firm opponent of capital punishment, which is banned throughout the EU. Since 1999, the lights illuminating Rome's ancient Colosseum have turned from white to gold every time a death sentence is commuted somewhere in the world or a country abolishes capital punishment.

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