Saddam to be executed within 30 days
An Iraqi appeals court has upheld the death sentence for Saddam Hussein, Iraq's national security adviser said Tuesday. "The appeals court approved the verdict to hang Saddam," said the official, Mouwafak al-Rubaie.
Last month, an Iraqi court sentenced Saddam to the gallows for the 1982 killings of 148 people in a single Shiite town after an attempt on his life there.
Under the statute governing the Iraqi High Tribunal, the death sentence must be carried out within the next 30 days. The sentence "must be implemented within 30 days," chief judge Aref Shahin said. "From tomorrow, any day could be the day of implementation."
Under the Iraqi law, the appeals court decision must be ratified by President Jalal Talabani and Iraq's two vice presidents. Talabani opposes the death penalty. Raed Juhi, a spokesman for the High Tribunal court that convicted Saddam, said the judicial system would ensure that Saddam is executed even if Talabani and the two vice presidents do not ratify the decision. "We'll implement the verdict by the power of the law," Juhi said, according to the AP.
The appeals court concluded the sentence of life imprisonment given to former vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan was too lenient and returned his file to the High Tribunal. "We demand that he be sentenced to death," said Shahin, the appeals judge.