at all what so ever is there against his regime !! Our leaders have the choice between US and their nations, after God. We advise all to stick to their people and God first, better than Americans who have no permanent friends but permanent interests. Saddam is the example after Shah Iran , and Sadat in Egypt !!
Associated France Press (AFP) 6/11/2006
Saddam sentenced to hang
by Jay Deshmukh
BAGHDAD (AFP) - The Iraqi government hailed Saddam Hussein's death sentence, as the former dictator's first trial ended under tight security amid fears the ruling would spark violent reactions in the strife-torn country.
"Iraq's martyrs can now smile again," Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Sunday after Saddam, 69, was sentenced to die by hanging.
Saddam was sentenced for "wilful killing", part of his indictment for crimes against humanity in ordering the deaths of 148 Shiite residents of Dujail, north of Baghdad, after a 1982 assassination attempt.
The deposed president was shaking but remained defiant as he was sentenced to die, forcing Judge Rauf Rasheed Abdel Rahman to shout over his protests.
"Make him stand," barked the judge before delivering the sentence. Four court guards held Saddam upright as he shouted back: "Don't bend my arms. Don't bend my arms."
Abdel Rahman declared: "The highest penalty should be implemented."
"Long live Iraq," the former strongman said as he was led away from the dock trembling. "Long live the Iraqi people. God is greater than the occupier."
His earlier plea that he should face a military firing squad if sentenced to death was ignored by the judge.
The Iraqi High Tribunal's chief prosecutor Jaafar al-Musawi told reporters at the courthouse after the verdict that Saddam's crimes "are civilian crimes and not military crimes. So he will be hanged."
Saddam's half-brother and intelligence chief Barzan al-Tikriti was also sentenced to die, as was Awad Ahmed al-Bandar, who was chairman of the so-called Revolutionary Court that ordered the Shiites executed.
The former vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan received a life sentence, while three Baath party officials from Dujail received 15 years each and a fourth, more junior figure, was cleared.
Saddam, however, was acquitted of one of the indictments in crimes against humanity, a US official close to the court said.
"He is acquitted of enforcing disappearance of persons," the official said.
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih said in a US television interview that the guilty verdict justified the "morality" of toppling the former dictator.
"One can question the war and debate the war endlessly, but at the end of the day for the overwhelming majority of Iraqis, liberation of Iraq was a moral act, was a courageous act," Salih told CNN.
US President George W. Bush hailed the verdict as a "major achievement" and a "milestone" for Iraq's move to democracy.
Sadr City, the main Shiite suburb of east Baghdad, erupted in joy at the verdict, as around 1,000 people marched, waved flags, denounced Saddam and hailed their hero, radical preacher Moqtada al-Sadr.
"Deliver him to us, we'll execute him ourselves," shouted the crowd.
The rest of the city was locked down by a strict curfew as security forces feared an angry reaction from Saddam's remaining supporters among Iraq's Sunni Arab minority, who were favoured under his 24-year reign.
Iraq's beleaguered military was on a war footing for the verdict and a curfew was in force in three flashpoints: the war-torn capital; the sectarian battlefields of Diyala; and Saddam's home region of Salaheddin.
Thousands of Sunnis defied the curfew to march in support of Saddam in his hometown of Tikrit, some of them firing wildly in the air as US helicopters circled overhead.
"With our souls and our blood we redeem you, Saddam. Death to traitors and spies. Damn (US President George W.) Bush and his agents. Yes, yes to the resistance. No option but to get rid of the occupier," chanted the crowd.
In an immediate example of the sectarian divide, Iraq shut down two Sunni television stations, accusing them of inciting violence after the verdict.
"We accept debates on any subject, but we do not tolerate television reports that encourage murder and violence," said interior ministry spokesman Brigadier General Abdel Karim Khalaf, without elaborating.
Sunni militant groups -- including the Islamic Army of Iraq, which is made up of former Baath party cadres and veterans of Saddam's armed forces -- have been at the forefront of attacks on US and government forces more than three and a half years after a US-led invasion toppled Saddam.
The tribunal's spokesman, judge Raed al-Juhi, said Saddam's appeal would begin on Monday and that deliberations would last a month, but said no date had been set to announce the final decision.
If the nine-judge panel upholds Abdel Rahman's verdict, Saddam will be hanged within 30 days of its ruling.
The defence team said Saddam expected the death penalty but was in good spirits as he planned his appeal.
"I was among 12 defence lawyers who met Saddam Hussein for four hours on Saturday afternoon. His morale was very high, it was made of steel," Tunisian lawyer Ahmad Siddiq told AFP.
"He told us he was convinced he would get the death sentence and he said 'you have done everything you could but the court was manipulated'."
Amnesty International described the prosecution as a "shabby affair, marred by serious flaws," while Human Rights Watch said the trial should have been conducted by an international court.