Hussein May Be Hanged By Spring, Lawyer Says




 
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Hussein May Be Hanged By Spring, Lawyer Says
 
November 7th, 2006  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: Hussein May Be Hanged By Spring, Lawyer Says


Hussein May Be Hanged By Spring, Lawyer Says
Los Angeles Times
November 7, 2006
The sentence could be carried out at Abu Ghraib prison, where the ex-dictator sent many of his victims.
By Borzou Daragahi, Times Staff Writer
BAGHDAD Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi leader convicted on charges of crimes against humanity, could face the hangman in four or five months inside the same notorious Abu Ghraib prison where he sent many of his victims, the lead prosecutor in his case and a top Iraqi legal expert said Monday.
Chief prosecutor Jaafar Mousawi, who dueled with Hussein during months of grueling courtroom confrontations, estimated that the Iraqi High Tribunal's nine-judge appellate panel would complete its review in about two months. He expressed confidence the jurists would uphold the verdict.
Added to the one-month period the defense and prosecution now have to present their cases to the appellate board, and the 30-day limit after the review is complete before the sentence is carried out, that would mean that Hussein could be executed before springtime.
"The evidence that we offered is clear and varied and will not prolong the appeals," Mousawi said.
Hussein and two other defendants face the death penalty for crimes against humanity for a years-long campaign of retribution against Shiite Muslim residents of Dujayl after a 1982 assassination attempt in the town against the then-president.
A fourth defendant, former Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan, faces life imprisonment. Iraqi law requires all capital and life imprisonment cases to be automatically reviewed by an appellate court.
Both Mousawi and Tarik Harib, the legal expert, said the appellate court would finish reviewing the case in no more than three months. Unlike other Iraqi appellate courts, they reasoned, the Iraqi High Tribunal's panel doesn't have any other cases stacked up and can concentrate on Dujayl.
"This is the first and only case that they have ever received," Harib said.
Unless the court builds a new execution chamber, Hussein probably will be put to death in a special building on the grounds of the fortress-like Abu Ghraib complex, site of the country's only gallows, said Harib, who is also a defense attorney.
"It's a very simple facility," said the lawyer, who saw the execution of a client, convicted of killing a relative, in the complex in the late 1980s. "There are only chairs and ropes."
The U.S. military recently vacated the site, which became the scene of a prisoner abuse scandal in 2004 when pictures emerged showing Americans menacing and humiliating suspects held at the facility.
Loghman Samarai, an Iraqi judge, said Justice Ministry officials may opt to build another facility to execute Hussein, his half brother and former intelligence chief Barzan Ibrahim Hasan and former Revolutionary Court Judge Awad Hamed Bandar, all sentenced Sunday to hang, as well as other former regime stalwarts who could be sentenced to die in future cases.
Hussein's trial has proved divisive throughout Iraq, and there were fears that violence would break out once a two-day vehicle ban ended at 6 a.m. today. Demonstrations in support of Hussein took place Monday in several cities.
Hundreds of Sunni Muslim Arab protesters in the city of Fallouja in Al Anbar province took to the streets. "Your name, Saddam, is dignity and awe," read a banner.
Demonstrators in the mostly Shiite Muslim town of Hillah held signs supporting the verdict. "Rejoice, you who were oppressed," a poster said.
Sunnis and Shiites are locked in a cycle of sectarian warfare despite U.S.-backed efforts at reconciliation. A move to assuage Sunni anger by allowing ranking members of Hussein's Sunni-dominated Baath Party back into public life took a step forward Monday.
Ali Lami, head of the de-Baathification committee, said a draft proposal to allow all but 1,500 party leaders back into government jobs was ready to be handed off to a parliamentary committee.
 


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