Saddam To Get Death Sentence Sunday
November 4th, 2006
Baghdad, Iraq - Iraq's former dictator Saddam Hussein faces a likely death sentence on Sunday amid fears that the verdict could provoke violent reprisals from his Sunni Arab supporters.
As a precaution, Iraq has cancelled all military leave and put the country's embattled armed forces on alert to thwart any outbreak of violence before or after the ruling.
More than three-and-a-half years after Iraqis cheered the fall of Saddam's massive statue in central Baghdad, the ousted dictator's own end appears to have come near with the verdict expected to be a death sentence. None other than prime minister Nuri al-Maliki himself has hinted that the former military strongman will be executed.
"It won't be long," Maliki said last month, displaying a better grasp of the political significance of the drama than the niceties of due process. "An execution order on this criminal despot and his criminal aides will be passed soon," he said.
Maliki might have jumped the gun, but few would indeed bet on anything other than a death sentence when Saddam and his seven co-defendants return to the courtroom of the Iraqi High Tribunal in Baghdad on Sunday.
However, Saddam's sentence will be automatically reviewed by an appeals panel if he is convicted on Sunday of war crimes and sentenced to death or life.
If these judges find grounds to question the judgment, Saddam will face another trial. If not, the sentence imposed this weekend will stand and be carried out within 30 days. Saddam and his seven co-defendants were put on trial for the killing of 148 Shi'ites from Dujail.
© MDR News