Saddam Hussein is sentenced to death by hanging for crimes against humanity in 1982 Shiite massacre
Death sentences were also handed down for his half-brother Ibrahim Barzan al Tikrity and the head of the Baath Revolutionary Court Awad Hamid al Bandar. Saddam visibly shaken shouted “Long live the nation” and “Allah is Great” and argued with the judge. He has demanded execution by shooting as a soldier, not by hanging like a criminal. First clashes flared in Sunni Baghdad neighborhoods and Saddam’s home town of Tikrit, Shiites violated the curfew clamped down in the capital against disturbances, firing celebratory shots and dancing in the streets.
Three defense lawyers walk out of court calling the verdict a mockery of justice. Saddam`s appeal has been filed and will be heard Monday.
Saddam’s vice president Taher Yasin Ramadan was given life in prison by Baghdad tribunal. Two other defendants received 22-year sentences, three Baathist officials were sentenced to 15 years in jail and one was acquitted for lack of evidence.
The verdicts were given Sunday, Nov. 5, at the end of the first trial against the ex-dictator and seven co-defendants on crimes against humanity in the 1982 massacre of 148 Shiites in Dujail.
Baghdad and the Sunni heartland were placed on top alert ahead of the sentencing in expectation of violent protests against the verdict by millions of Sunni Arabs. Curfews are in force in the capital and three provinces, the international airport is shut down and army leaves cancelled indefinitely. Extra checkpoints have gone up across the city. Maliki said he hopes Saddam “will get what he deserves.”
Saddam`s second trial for genocide against the Kurdish people resumes Tuesday