Saddam co-defendants hanged

Half-brother, former court head found guilty of killing 148 Shi'ites in 1982.

By
January 15, 2007 06:33
2 minute read.
Saddam co-defendants hanged

Saddam co def 298.88. (photo credit: AP)

 
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Saddam Hussein's half brother and the former head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court were hanged before dawn Monday, Prosecutor Munqith al-Faroon said, two weeks and two days after the former Iraqi dictator was executed in a chaotic scene that has drawn worldwide criticism. Barzan Ibrahim, Saddam's half brother and former intelligence chief, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court, had been found guilty along with Saddam of killing of 148 Shi'ite Muslims after a 1982 assassination attempt on the former leader in the town of Dujail north of Baghdad. "They (government) called us before dawn and told us to send someone. I sent a judge to witness the execution and it happened," al-Faroon said. The two men were to have been hanged along with Saddam on Dec. 30, but Iraqi authorities decided to execute Saddam alone on what National Security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie called a "special day." Last week, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani urged the government to delay the executions. "In my opinion we should wait," Talabani said Wednesday at a news conference with US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad. "We should examine the situation," he said without elaborating. Saddam's execution became an unruly scene that brought worldwide criticism of the Iraqi government. Video of the execution, recorded on a cell phone camera, showed the former dictator being taunted on the gallows. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that Khalilzad asked him to delay Saddam's execution for 10 days to two weeks, but added that Iraqi officials rejected the demand. A lawyer for the two men told The Associated Press recently that they were taken from their cells and told they were going to be hanged on the same day Saddam was executed. Issam Ghazawi, a member of Saddam's defense team for the past two years, said he met individually with Ibrahim and al-Bandar recently, and that Ibrahim told him they were escorted from their cells and told they were also going to be executed. "The Americans took me and al-Bandar from our cells on the same day of Saddam's execution to an office inside the prison at 1 a.m. They asked us to collect our belongings because they intend to execute us at dawn," Ibrahim reportedly said. He said the two men were also told to write their wills. Al-Bandar and Ibrahim were taken back to their prison cells nearly nine hours later, according to Ghazawi. "Their execution should be commuted under such circumstances because of the psychological pain they endured as they waited to hang," he said. Ghazawi quoted as Al-Bandar as saying he "wished to have been executed with President Saddam." Ibrahim, the lawyer said, "was in the worst condition. He kept crying over the death of his brother and said it was a great loss for the family and the Arab world." After Saddam's execution but before Ibrahim and al-Bandar's, Human Rights Watch released a report calling the speedy trial and subsequent hanging of Saddam proof of the new Iraqi government's disregard for human rights. "The tribunal repeatedly showed its disregard for the fundamental due process rights of all of the defendants," said Richard Dicker, director of Human Rights Watch's International Justice Program.

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